The up and down but mostly down second season of Big Little Lies will maybe be best remembered for one thing: Meryl Streep's persnickety, mannered, utterly unforgettable performance as Monterey's best-worst unaccredited detective. So fans of Streep's particular set of character skills are wise to check out the trailer for her next 2019 project: Steven Soderbergh's The Laundromat, which Netflix will release in limited theaters in September before dropping onto its platform in October.
Based on Jake Bernstein's Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers, Illicit Money Networks, and the Global Elite, Soderbergh's film focuses on a widow (played by Streep) who "investigates an insurance fraud, chasing leads to a pair of Panama City law partners (Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas) exploiting the world's financial system."
The fact-based story was written by Scott Z. Burns, Soderbergh's frequent partner (and the director himself of the forthcoming Amazon film The Report). That's a notable and promotable pairing for Netflix: Soderbergh and Burns previously collaborated on the Matt Damon film The Informant!, and The Laundromat looks similar in tone and style to that 2009 comedy, which took an ax to the traditions of the whistleblower drama by going wacky. Judging by how Oldman and Banderas, playing real-life figures Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca, respectively, have their performances pitched at the highest key possible, expect a similar sense of humor from this one.
The Laundromat is Soderbergh's second Netflix film of 2019, following the excellent High-Flying Bird. The director is currently working on a film called Let Them All Talk, which reunites him with Streep, for HBO Max, Warner Media's forthcoming streaming service.
The Laundromat premieres at the Venice Film Festival this weekend. It arrives in theaters on Sept. 27 and on Netflix Oct. 18.