Netflix’s Cocaine Hippos Will be a Pablo Escobar Drug … Comedy?

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Netflix’s Cocaine Hippos Will be a Pablo Escobar Drug … Comedy?

As a drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar was almost certainly responsible, directly or indirectly, for the deaths of thousands of people—but when has that stopped screenwriters from creating a comedy structured around a person’s legacy? We’re in a post-Jojo Rabbit society, after all. When you’ve made a little boy’s imaginary Hitler friend into a well-received comic character, all bets are off.

Netflix sure seems to think so, and has greenlit Cocaine Hippos as a result, a feature film comedy that “will follow a group of friends who stumble across a clue leading to Escobar’s lost treasure. They then embark on a wild trip that pits them against con men, local drug lords and the deadly hippos that Escobar smuggled into Colombia back in the ’80s.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, the tone is reportedly something like The Hangover meets Tropic Thunder, which we have to say makes sense. Cocaine Hippos is written by Jordan VanDina, and will star Jermaine Fowler, who you may remember from Sorry to Bother You. Fowler will also appear in the upcoming Coming 2 America.

As for the hippos, though, that’s a story all its own. At the height of his power in the 1980s, Escobar decided on a whim that he wanted to turn his compound into a makeshift zoo for exotic animals, possibly as a means to simply flaunt his incalculable cocaine wealth. To that end, he acquired a real menagerie, including giraffes, elephants, zebras and more. Perhaps the most dangerous acquisitions, though, were four hippos—hippopotamuses being considered possibly the most dangerous and aggressive African mammal, due to the numbers of unwitting people they kill each year.

After Escobar was killed in the early 1990s, the Colombian government removed the vast majority of that menagerie, with one notable exception—the hippos, who were allowed to simply remain in the swampy grounds adjacent to the compound. And lo and behold, the huge animals thrived in an environment with unlimited access to food and no natural predators. Today, only a few decades later, the number of hippos has swollen past 50, and the animals have become a serious threat to the area’s biodiversity. That, and a threat to anyone who gets in their way. It’s easy to see how they could be written into a film like Cocaine Hippos as a result.

It’s fitting, likewise, that this project is coming to Netflix, given that the network is also home to the series Narcos, which greatly expanded many viewers’ knowledge of Pablo Escobar. We’ll bring you additional news on Cocaine Hippos as it arrives.

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