I don’t know about you, but when I see the words “cocaine” and “hippos” next to each other, I pay attention. And when the context is that a major company is developing a movie called Cocaine Hippos, I perk up even more. So Netflix certainly has my attention with its new upcoming comedy, which, oddly enough, is based on a true story.
In the 1980s, notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar demanded that a group of exotic animals be brought in to populate the grounds of his estate as part of his own private zoo. And since he was one of the richest men in the world at the time, what Escobar wanted, Escobar got. Giraffes, zebras, elephants, and, yep, four hippos were all brought in from across the globe, but when he was killed in the early 1990s, the Colombian government stepped in and moved many of those animals elsewhere. All except the hippos. Those were left behind (maybe because hippopotamuses are incredibly dangerous and aggressive?), and the four originals eventually proliferated, leaving dozens of them in a country in which they were never meant to live.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix’s comedy Cocaine Hippos “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.” They’re saying the tone is a mixture of The Hangover and Tropic Thunder, which certainly sounds like a winning combination on paper.
Jordan VanDina, who has writing credits on What Would Diplo Do? and the upcoming Animaniacs series, is writing the script, and Jermaine Fowler, who had a supporting role in Sorry to Bother You and will soon appear in Coming 2 America, is set to star. Fowler is also producing, alongside Matt Skiena and Adam Goodman, the latter of whom previously worked as the president of Paramount’s motion picture group and now has his own production company called Dichotomy.
Netflix seems like the perfect home for a project like this. It’s easy to picture the streaming service presenting Cocaine Hippos to someone who’s just watched a documentary about the drug trade in the 1980s, or, better yet, just completed a binge of the Netflix original series Narcos, which features Escobar as a major character.
For more on the hippo invasion of Columbia, check out this video from Vox:
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