Home Film & TV Steven Soderbergh in frame to direct Panama Papers film

Steven Soderbergh in frame to direct Panama Papers film


Film-maker will bring Jake Bernstein’s forthcoming book, Secrecy World, about the biggest data leak in history, to cinemas

July 7, 2016: Steven Soderbergh has taken on the previously reported Panama Papers movie. The film-maker, who recently unretired from directing feature films, is producing, and may direct, a film about the biggest data leak in history, according to Deadline.

Soderbergh’s film will be based on Secrecy World, a book by the Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter Jake Bernstein. He was one of the journalists at theInternational Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) who helped bring the story to light. Bernstein’s book, which he is currently writing, will likely be adapted by Scott Z Burns, who made Contagion, Side Effects and The Informant!with Soderbergh.

The Panama Papers comprise 11.5 million documents that were leaked from the Panama-based company Mossack Fonseca, one of the world’s biggest offshore law firms. They revealed how many of the super-rich employ legal, labyrinthine accounting systems to avoid taxation. World leaders including Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as well as film-makers such as Pedro Almodóvar and the estate of Stanley Kubrick are among those thought to have benefited from offshore funds.

The records were leaked by anonymous source to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which gave them to the ICIJ. The ICIJ then shared them with a network of international partners, including the Guardian and the BBC.

In 2009, Soderbergh first suggested he might retire from feature film directing, telling the Guardian he could “see the end of his career”. The end, as it turns out, was merely a hiatus. After directing the critically acclaimed TV series The Knick, overseeing the TV adaptation of his film The Girlfriend Experience and acting as cinematographer and editor on Magic Mike XXL, Soderbergh is returning to feature directing with Logan Lucky, a crime thriller set in the Nascar racing scene. It stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Katherine Heigl and Seth MacFarlane.