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7 Prisoners - What We Know So Far

In 2018, Netflix released director Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma" to its streaming service. The film takes place in Mexico and features dialogue alternately in Spanish and the indigenous Mexican language Mixtec (via Cultura Colectiva). "Roma" was a hit among critics, ranking among the top 13 best-reviewed films of the 2010s.

Since then, the growing list of Netflix originals has included many more non-US productions. Spanish TV series "Money Heist," for example, was at one point the most popular TV series on Netflix in multiple international markets. In 2019, Netflix released the underrated "Sintonia," a Brazilian series about three teenagers' struggles growing up in São Paulo.

Netflix will soon add to its growing collection of original, international film content with the release of the Brazilian film "7 Prisoners." Whether or not the film will garner the same degree of acclaim as non-English language predecessors like "Money Heist" and "Sintonia" remains to be seen, but it certainly looks promising. Here's what we know about "7 Prisoners" so far.

When will 7 Prisoners be released?

As detailed in a Netflix press release, "7 Prisoners" premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 6. There, the film was part of the Orizzonti Extra category, which was introduced for the first time in 2021 (via Deadline). The new Orizzonti Extra category is considered extremely competitive and is focused on "new trends in world cinema" (via The Hollywood Reporter). The experimental category has no other restrictions on genre, style, or length — so long as they are over 60 minutes.

According to a Deadline's list of Netflix releases scheduled for the final third of the year, "7 Prisoners" will debut on the streaming service in November 2021 on a date that has yet to be announced. Netflix also shared that "7 Prisoners" is one of a number of works of "original and unprecedented Brazilian content... launched every month" between July and December 2021. This batch of Brazilian content will include everything from feature films to documentaries to reality shows. 

Who stars in 7 Prisoners?

"7 Prisoners" will feature Christian Malheiros in its lead role, according to Netflix. Malheiros's prior credits include appearances on Brazilian TV series like "Sessão de Terapia" and the Netflix original "Sintonia," in which he portrays one of the principal characters. His first acting credit was the titular role in the Brazilian drama "Socrates," which was also the feature directorial debut of "7 Prisoners" director Alexandre Moratto.

Rodrigo Santoro will portray the villain in "7 Prisoners" opposite Malheiros. Santoro is a prolific actor and Brazilian superstar, appearing in Brazilian series like "Pátria Minha" and "Explode Coração" early in his career. Santoro has also appeared in several big Hollywood films like "Love Actually" and "300," in which he portrayed the villainous King Xerxes. He also had a recurring role in "Westworld" and was one of the most controversial characters on "Lost" for a short stint. 

IMDb only credits two other actors in "7 Prisoners." One of them, Vitor Julian has no prior acting credits to his name. The other, Lucas Oranmian, has appeared in a few different Brazilian TV series just like his co-stars, as well as the 2021 film "Yakuza Princess."

What is the plot of 7 Prisoners?

According to a summary of the film provided by the Toronto International Film Festival, where "7 Prisoners" will screen in advance of its Netflix premiere, the film "follows a group of honest men from the countryside who think they are going to São Paulo for work but end up locked in a junkyard, where they are told they must work to pay off steep debts."

Matteus (Christian Malheiros) is one of those men looking for work when he ends up trapped in slavelike conditions by Luca (Rodrigo Santoro), the junkyard's owner. Though Matteus and his fellow prisoners are threatened to work in squalor by literal violence, he nevertheless tries his luck and attempts to convince Luca that he and his cohorts will work harder if they know their release is on the horizon. Matteus ends up entering into an uneasy partnership with his abusive boss as he tries to escape his dire situation.

How this dynamic ultimately plays out will be revealed when the film hits Netflix in November 2021.