“Silver or lead?”
That’s the question infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar threatens Colombian law enforcement in a trailer for the new Netflix series Narcos.
Chronicling the real-life drug war waged between Escobar (Wagner Moura) and DEA agents Steve Murphy (Gone Girl‘s Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Peña (Game of Thrones‘ Pedro Pascal), Narcos tells the story of how the cocaine drug trade “began, what fuels it and how many people died so far both violently on on account of getting addicted,” producer José Padilha tells PEOPLE exclusively.
One of the most important steps in putting together the 10-episode scripted series was casting the perfect Escobar.
“We needed a great actor, at the right age, who understood the style of story telling we were going for – and who could learn to speak Spanish fast with a Paisan accent,” explains Padilha. “There are very few actors who can do all that. We made a list and got lucky with the first name we had on it: Wagner Moura.”
And even though the production team behind Narcos hopes viewers are entertained by the series, they also worked with the real-life Murphy and Pena to make sure they were also telling a historically accurate story.
“Cocaine has had a huge negative impact on the lives of people all over the world,” says Padilha. “Its important to show its history.”
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All 10 episodes of Narcos will premiere on Aug. 28 at 12:01 a.m. PT exclusively on Netflix.