Netflix has a lot on its plate in 2018. Between “Roma,” “22 July” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,“ they have some real Oscar players on their hands. The streaming service continues its pursuit of winning a Best Picture Oscar someday, and next year is already shaping up for another campaign. According to Deadline, Netflix acquired the all-star production in progress on “The Laundromat” from Steven Soderbergh. In doing so, they’ve picked up another likely awards player for 2019.
“The Laundromat” will follow the Panama Papers Scandal, first leaked in 2015. The Panama Papers brought to hundreds of shell corporations to light. The corporations were used to funnel wealth and money outside of various countries around the world. This allowed the wealthy to avoid paying taxes. The scandal was so large, it actually brought down world leaders, including for PM of the UK, David Cameron. Donald Trump, Emma Watson, and Jackie Chan all had money in Panama as well. This feels like perfect territory for a very eccentric storyteller like Soderbergh.
To tell the sprawling story of how the shell corporations were set up, what led to their exposure, and those investigating, Soderbergh built a great cast. Among those on board are Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, and David Schwimmer. It looks as if Will Forte and Riley Keough will join the cast as well. This feels like a return to the days of “Traffic” and “Erin Brockovich” for the famed director. He already signed up with Netflix for his next feature as well, “High Flying Bird,” which will also come out in 2019. It’ll be interesting to see if Soderbergh pushes for a 2019 release for “The Laundromat” or if it’ll go to 2020.