People are weirdly fascinated with ‘Narcos’: Christopher Brancato
“Narcos” co-creator Christopher Brancato is happy that he found a global hit in Netflix’s drug drama “Narcos”, whose story has fascinated people world over.
The first two seasons of the Netflix series chronicled the rise and eventual fall of the notorious Colombian cocaine king Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) through the eyes of DEA agents Javier Pena and Steve Murphy (Pedro Pascal and Boyd Holbrook).
Brancato said filmmaker Eric Newman was developing a movie on Escobar for 17 years but he felt it would be hard to tell the story as a 2-hour-long film. He eventually suggested they give it a 20-episode treatment at Netflix.
Brancato, who has been involved with features like “Species II” and “Hoodlum”, said it is hard to create a show that becomes “such a big hit” and had even told himself that he may never really see global success.
“I just wanted one (hit show) and I don’t necessarily need another. I don’t want to live in this bitter-sweet weird ‘I got to have another show which is as big as that one’. No.
“I just wanted one. What it (Narcos) has afforded me…
it has given me a chance to visit India, go to Rome, Brazil.
All over the world, people are weirdly fascinated with the show,” he told in an interview.
Brancato said Escobar was not the central figure of the first episode but the team, including Brazilian director Jose Padilha, decided to change that.
“My initial instinct was to start with Escobar in the might of his power and Jose said, ‘In Brazil, nobody knows who Escobar is, we better show how he became a drug dealer.’ The minute he said that, I said, ‘Yes, you are right’.
“He was highly influential on things like using voice- overs. I didn’t want to use it at first. It is such a cheap (instrument) but he was like, ‘for this show it can work’, and he was right! I realised what he wanted to do was a TV version of his movie in Brazil, ‘Elite Squad: The Enemy Within’.”
The series with a local story attained global success and Brancato recalls when “Narcos” was first announced he was “so jealous” as he was not part of it.
“They took a year from there on to find a structure and it came to me. So I was born to do it- in terms of the combination of research, collaborating with the director, the producer, going to Columbia, researching Escobar, the role of cocaine and commerce.
“It was a stew. I had tons of information in my head about Escobar, the DEA and somehow figured out a way to type out and express it with historical events as the centre piece of each of the ten episodes.”
As part of its plans to create ground-breaking content for the Jio platform, Siddharth Roy Kapur’s Roy Kapur Films had invited Brancato to India earlier this month to conduct a special masterclass on creating, writing and directing original series.
“Narcos” recently finished its third season where it narrated the story of Cali cartel. The fourth season is already under production in Mexico.