The acclaimed filmmaker will direct a new original premium series for Globoplay about the life and death of the activist and advocate of human rights for minorities in Brazil.

Globo signs partnership with filmmaker José Padilha to direct a series about the life and death of Marielle Franco

Franco, a black, gay, activist woman and advocate of human rights for minorities, was silenced in a still unresolved murder. The death of Marielle Franco generated a national commotion, with international repercussion, and her story will be made into an original Globoplay fictional series directed by José Padilha (Narcos / Elite Squad). Scheduled to start filming in the second half of this year, the series is foreseen to be launched in 2021.

Created by Antonia Pellegrino, who is also the executive producer, the series will have 8 episodes and tells the story of the activist who made headlines worldwide. Born and bred in Complexo da Maré, a sprawling set of favelas on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Marielle, became a mother in adolescence and with a huge amount of effort managed to study sociology and take a master’s degree in Public Administration. In 2016, she was elected a municipal councillor for the city of Rio de Janeiro and became president of the Women’s Defense Commission.

Marielle became an important voice in the struggle for human rights and in combating LGBTphobia. But her voice was silenced on the night of March 14, 2018 in a brutal assassination. The crime, which has still not been solved, has triggered a chorus of protests with everyone voicing the same questions: who killed Marielle Franco and who ordered her murder?

“We will be telling the important story, of the life and, unfortunately, death of Marielle Franco. And in doing so, we will be addressing, once again, the ongoing problems of urban violence, police corruption and the militias and their influence on politics. The series will be fictional in the same way that Elite Squad 1 and 2 were, but with a story based on real events and on everything that it represents,” said Padilha.

“We know that that the memory of Marielle does not need us to live on. Those of us who are alive are the ones who need her to remind us of our own humanity. Marielle always went beyond the norm in everything she did, even in the way she died. The killing of Marielle Franco is not, unfortunately, an isolated incident in Rio de Janeiro, a city marked by violent crimes, but it is the only case powerful enough to bring the putrefying sludge of the city to the surface,” said Antonia Pellegrino.

The project marks the first work of director José Padilha with Globo Studios. “It is a real privilege to have José Padilha on Globoplay, at the helm of such an important project. The legacy Marielle Franco left in the field of human rights transcends borders and very few filmmakers have the capacity to tell a story of this nature with equal skill and competence to national and international audiences,” says Erick Brêtas, Director of Digital Products & Services at Globo.

The first and last episodes of the series will be written by José Padilha and Antonia Pellegrino. The remainder will be scripted by collaborators yet to be invited to be a part of the cast of writers. To head the Writers’ Room, Globo has brought on board writer George Moura. “I was very excited when Globoplay invited me to join the team, in my first work experience alongside José Padilha. Fiction, even when it is based on real life events, always allows us to have some freedom of manoeuver to dig deeper into the subjective motivations that drive the characters. It is as if in a documentary or report, reality were always the ultimate goal. On the other hand, in fiction, dreams and desires may carry greater weight. It is a great honor and joy to team up with those who want to tell the story of a contemporary Brazilian heroine like Marielle Franco at this moment in Brazil,” said George Moura, who will also act as an executive producer of the series.

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) will be negotiating all international distribution agreements. “We will look for an international partnership to make it possible to exhibit the series worldwide. The idea is to tell her incredible life story to the greatest number of people, inside and outside the country,” adds Padilha.

Scheduled to run for two seasons, the first will revolve around the biography of Marielle Franco, culminating with the crime that shocked Brazil and the world, while the second will focus on the ongoing developments of the case and the investigations into finding out what happened on the night of March 14, when the city councillor and her driver, Anderson Gomes, were both murdered.

Although the filming of the series is only scheduled to begin in the second half of 2020, the director has traveled from Los Angeles, where he lives, to Rio de Janeiro, with the task of putting together the team of writers. The majority of the scenes will be shot outdoors and in the city of Rio.