Netflix is set to bring in some big names for season 4 of its true-crime cocaine drama Narcos, as Diego Luna and Michael Peña are set to star. The streaming service made the announcement today in the form of a brief teaser trailer that delivered news of the actors’ involvement, but also confirmed that the series would indeed be shifting its locale from South America to Mexico in the upcoming season. The casting announcement did not mention the characters Luna and Peña would be playing, but Netflix did confirm that Pedro Pascal, who played DEA agent Javier Peña in the first three seasons, would not return for season 4.
The move to Mexico was heavily hinted at throughout the series’ superb third season, as the story effectively dealt with the aftermath of Pablo Escobar’s demise and the systematic dismantling of the Cali cartel. Several allusions were made regarding the cocaine trade and cartels in Mexico, while Agent Peña and his father (Edward James Olmos) were seen discussing as much in a brief coda at the end of the season. The final scene certainly suggested Pascal’s presence would continue on into season 4, but now it seems that the production is looking to make a clean start.
In addition to the casting announcement, Netflix confirmed that Narcos season 4 is set to premiere in 2018, and that it recently began production in Mexico City.
The news is certainly welcome for fans of the series, as it brings in new blood and two talented actors, both of whom have seen their profiles in Hollywood rise recently thanks to appearances in blockbusters like Ant-Man and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s also a strong move for the series as it shifts locales to bring in a new cast and demonstrate the way in which Narcos can function as more of an anthology series. That kind of flexibility in terms of the season’s plot lines and characters also plays well with the pseudo-documentary style in which it is made, with a heavy emphasis on archival news footage and voiceover narration, which was, admittedly, toned down considerably after season 1.
Luna and Peña have a close working relationship, having collaborated on the biopic Cesar Chavez, which Luna also directed. But there’s no indication so far as to how they’ll be sharing the screen in Narcos season 4. With Pascal having departed, the series will need to replace characters on both sides of the law. With the shift to Guadalajara and the likely focus on Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, it stands to reason Luna and Peña will be on opposite sides of the story, as having either actor in that role would certainly make the season even more enticing.
Given the secrecy around their roles, it seems likely that El Chapo will be the central figure of the season, but we’ll have to wait a while longer for an official confirmation.
Narcos season 4 will premiere in 2018 on Netflix. Seasons 1-3 are available to stream in their entirety.
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