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As a TV show centering on the times and crimes of one of the world’s most notorious criminals, the Golden Globe-nominated Netflix Original series Narcos is not without its own share of problems behind the scenes. As the acclaimed drama makes it way to Season 2, it is going through yet another change in the showrunner department, and the show is bringing in the producer duo of José Padilha and Eric Newman to take over the daily grind. And who knows, maybe someone else will get the gig by the time the season actually starts.
This is the third time Narcos has had to seek out someone for the showrunner position, so here’s hoping that Padilha and Newman are exactly what the underworld-connected doctor ordered. Before Season 1 debuted, initial showrunner Chris Brancato left in order to join ABC and the upcoming biblical drama Of Kings & Prophets. He was replaced by The Shield writer/producer Adam Fierro, who recently pulled out of the show. No reasons for his vacating were given.
Both Padilha and Newman were producers during Season 1 of Narcos, so they should be fully familiar with everything that’s happened so far and where the story will be headed in the next ten installments. According to THR, they’ll be working with a team of writers in putting Season 2 together.
This show was Padilha’s first time working on a TV series, and you might recognize him as the guy behind last year’s RoboCop remake, as well as the stellar Elite Squad films. Newman, who was already working with Netflix as an executive producer on the horror drama Hemlock Grove, has mostly kept to producer duties in his career, which is full of genre films like Dawn of the Dead (remake), Children of Men and last year’s The Sacrament. Though the scares on Narcos are quite different from horror movies, perhaps Newman can influence that a bit.
This crew change-up does little to dispel my faith that Season 2 of Narcos will be as solid as the first, since the show didn’t seem to suffer much from the first replacement. For one, Wagner Moura is impeccable as the deadly and often brilliant Pablo Escobar, and he would be excellent even if everything else around him was garbage. Second, the years-spanning story is so dense and intricate in dealing out multiple storylines across multiple continents, with languages changing from scene to scene, that the material already feels like it’s coming from a dozen different places anyway. That said, it’s up to Padilha and Newman to keep it concise and fluid.
No release dates are set yet for Narcos Season 2, but we can probably expect it to debut around August 2016.