Art And Culture

Meryl Streep in Soderbergh’s ‘Panama Papers’

Meryl Streep in Soderbergh’s ‘Panama Papers’Meryl Streep in Soderbergh’s ‘Panama Papers’

Meryl Streep will take the lead in “The Laundromat”, a Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller about the Panama Papers.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar winner will star alongside Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, who are both in early talks to join, in the fact-based tale.

The Panama Papers are 11.5 million leaked documents that detail financial and attorney–client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities, belonging to wealthy individuals and public officials. The documents, some dating back to the 1970s, were created by, and taken from, Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, and were leaked in 2015 by an anonymous source.

While offshore business entities are legal, reporters found that some of the Mossack Fonseca shell corporations were used for illegal purposes, including fraud, tax evasion, and evading international sanctions.

The film will be based on “Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite,” a book by American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author Jake Bernstein. It will be adapted by screenwriter Scott Z Burns, a frequent Soderbergh collaborator whose credits include the films “Contagion” and “Side Effects”.

It has not yet been announced what role Streep will play in the film but sources have claimed she will be the emotional throughline. The project does not yet boast distribution but Netflix is reportedly interested. The streaming giant also bought the rights to another book on the Panama Papers with John Wells, director of “August: Osage County” to produce a film adaptation.

Streep picked up her 21st Oscar nomination this year for her role in Steven Spielberg’s drama “The Post”. While promoting the film which detailed the struggle to publish information from the Pentagon Papers, she spoke about the importance of the press.

“Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you,” Streep addressed the press facing the crowd at the International Press Freedom Awards in New York. “You are the fourth estate. You are our first line of defense against tyranny and state-sanctioned news.”

She will next be seen briefly in “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” and “Mary Poppins Returns” alongside Emily Blunt. She is also heading to the small screen for a role in the second season of HBO’s “Big Little Lies”, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.

Soderbergh’s most recent thriller “Unsane” was a box office disappointment, making just $12m worldwide. His next film, sports drama “High Flying Bird”, starring Zazie Beetz and Andre Holland, is set to be released later this year.

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