Steven Soderbergh’s last two movies haven’t exactly blown up at the box office despite being thoughtful and entertaining. So perhaps it’s no surprise that he’s considering Netflix as the distributor for an upcoming feature.
According to THR, Soderbergh’s new film, The Laundromat, which is based on which is based on the book by Jake Bernstein titled Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite, is being eyed by Netflix for potential distribution. And if Netflix lands the movie, it will have a 3-time Oscar winner in the lead role.
Meryl Streep has signed on to lead the movie, and while there are no details on her character, “sources describe it as being the emotional through line of the movie.” Per THR, “The Panama Papers were leaked documents that showed how Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm, allowed the wealthy and the connected to funnel money illegally in and around the world.” Scott Z. Burns (Contagion) wrote the screenplay.
THR also reports that Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas are in early talks to join the film as well, but there are no details on what roles they could play.
While Streep would definitely be a big draw and it’s wise of Netflix to be in the Soderbergh business, the problem with Netflix is that everything just gets dumped into the content machine. A film of this caliber may appear at a festival or get a limited theatrical release, but at the end of the day, it gets as much attention as anything else on the service. It’s new Soderbergh, so I’ll watch it, but I hope it lands with a better distributor that can give the movie the attention it needs.
Streep will be seen later this year in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Mary Poppins Returns.