Netflix Brazil’s “Senna” is directed by Vicente Amorim

“Senna,” the biggest and most ambitious Netflix series in Latin America to date, now has a director. Veteran Brazilian film-TV action-thriller director Vicente Amorim – whose credits include “Good,” starring Viggo Mortensen, and “Yakuza Princess,” starring Japanese-American singer Masumi and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is producing.

Produced by Sao Paulo-based Gullane in collaboration with the Senna family for Netflix Brazil, Senna follows the life of Formula 1 genius Ayrton Senna and is currently in preparation.

The eight-episode fictional miniseries will “explore the intimacy of the man who became a national hero and took over the world,” Netflix Brazil announced Monday.

It looks like it will be Netflix’s biggest game yet for one of its biggest markets worldwide. As of January 2021, Netflix is ​​said to have had 19 million household accounts in Brazil, almost as many as the streamer’s 25.49 million for all of Asia at the time.

“I had many idols in sport but only one hero, Senna. I saw his races, I cheered for him, I was inspired by him and the day he died I burst into tears,” Amorim summarized perhaps most Brazilians’ feelings towards Senna’s character.

“Senna” should also resonate internationally.

In 2009, a poll of 217 current and former Formula One drivers by Autosport magazine called Senna “the greatest Formula One driver who ever lived”. Several other polls – from BBC Sport, F1 Racing magazine, the German Bild am Sonntag – have come to the same conclusion.

“Senna was an international hero and through Netflix a series about him will have global reach – it will be an international series produced and directed by Brazilians, moving domestic audiences and telling Senna’s amazing story to new audiences and old fans everywhere will of the world,” said Amorim.

The son of a diplomat who grew up in London, Washington DC, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and the Netherlands speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and French – which won’t hurt to make a series about a sport as international as Formula 1 – Amorim broke out two decades ago with a trio of dramas mixing international or big national stars and social issues: 2003’s ‘The Middle of the World’ starring Wagner Moura, competing in San Sebastian; 2012’s Dirty Hearts, starring Tsuyoshi Ihara, a story about bigotry unfolding in the Japanese community in São Paulo at the end of World War II; and between them the ethical thriller Good (2008), filmed in Germany in the 1930s and starring Viggo Mortensen, which made several critics’ top 10 lists that year, including The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Observer.

However, since 2017’s biker-chase slasher “Motorrad” was hailed as one of his best and craziest films, Amorim has increasingly become a go-to director for action thrillers, whether Globoplay’s shoot-’em- up from 2019’s The Division, the 2021 gory revenge tale Yakuza Princess acquired by XYZ Films, or Santo, a propulsive manhunt thriller marking Netflix’s first Spain-Brazil series, the Amorim has finished.

“Action and emotion defined who Senna was and what this series will be,” said Amorim. “We will put the audience in the driver’s seat with Senna, in each of the cars he has driven, and attempt to unveil his genius, while at the same time striving to understand the man, to open a window into his personal life, his challenges and his incredibly winning career in a sport that has been rigged against non-Europeans,” he added. Netflix Brazil’s “Senna” is directed by Vicente Amorim

Charles Jones

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