It’s Laundry day for Antonio Banderas…
Netflix has committed to finance and release The Laundromat, the Steven Soderbergh-directed drama about the Panama Papers scandal starring the 58-year-old Spanish actor.
Banderas is part of a stellar cast that includes David Schwimmer, Gary Oldman and Meryl Streep. Other cast circling include Will Forte and Riley Keough.
The film has a script by Scott Z. Burns, based on the Jake Bernstein book Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite.
Schwimmer will play Matthew Quirk, an attorney who speaks on behalf of one of the insurance companies after twenty elderly passengers die on a boating excursion. The boating company learned its insurance isn’t the large company it thought it was, but merely just a P.O. box in Nevis. Quirk would eventually kill himself after seeing no way out of the liability situation, but the incident triggers lawyers, government officials, and more to track down these shell companies. Those investigations lead to the laundering geniuses at the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, who created hundreds of thousands of ‘companies’ to help the wealthy avoid paying taxes. Reams of documents were leaked from Mossack Fonseca in April by an anonymous whistleblower that bared embarrassing details on investments and money trails from politicians the world over, meant to evade taxes.
The scandal drew in several world leaders, including former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Iceland Prime Minister Sigmunder Gunnlaugsson, the latter of whom resigned on April 5, 2016, after it was revealed he and his wife set up an offshore shell company in 2007 in the British Virgin Islands; he then sold his half of the company to his wife for $1 on the last day of 2009 to shield them from a new law that would have required him to declare his ownership as a conflict of interest. Among the swarms of famous people named in the leaked documents was current President of the United States Donald Trump— already embattled over charges his empire was built by avoiding taxes — and director Pedro Almodovar, Jackie Chan and Emma Watson.
Bernstein was part of a team of journalists who formed the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to break the Panama Papers story. The leak of data — 11 million records revealed — was the largest in corporate and government history.