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Netflix to Launch Premiere on Friday, Despite Litigation



Real-life attorneys, played by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, do not like how they are portrayed in the new Steven Soderbergh movie.

In the titles of Steven Soderbergh's Laundromat, The Laundry Room, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas play lawyers who, according to the Panama Papers document, allegedly helped mega-rich billion dollar hiding places . Real-life attorneys Jurgen Mosak and Ramon Fonseca are subject to federal charges – but they don't like how they are portrayed on screen. They are suing the Netflix distributor for not releasing the movie this week.

The suit is not a fake Netflix: a source close to the production confirmed that the streamer is still planning to release the movie on its platform on Friday.

A representative from Netflix directed a reporter to court documents when it was reached for comment. The streamer on Wednesday asked a judge to dismiss the case on the grounds that a federal court in Connecticut was inappropriate.

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1.5 million documents making up the Panama Papers were leaked anonymously in 2016 to media outlets. They linked one of the largest offshore law firms, Mossack Fonseca, to world leaders who used bills and shell companies to evade billions in taxes.

The somberly comic Laundry, which is shown at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, follows Meryl Streep as a vacationer who finds herself pursuing the origins of a fake insurance policy leading her to Mosak Fonseca. Eric Cohn at IndieWire in his review of B describes the movie as "dummy money laundering" thanks to his fourth-wall explanations of shell companies, corporate tax laws and offshore accounts.

In an effort to postpone the film, Mossack and Fonseca filed a lawsuit against Netflix in federal court in Connecticut on Tuesday. They claim the film is defamatory because it portrays them as villains and infringes their copyright because it uses the logo of their law firm. Mossack Fonseca & Co. announced in March 2018 that the law firm would close amid economic and reputational damage.

According to the case, the movie shows "clips from people related to offshore accounts and / or alleged clients calling" shit "and / or other explants in different languages, including an English-speaking lady at a bar, a gentleman dressed in a sheikh-like garment, two Russian gangsters, and the wife of a Chinese politician driving by some soldiers. The viewer aims to link Mosak and Fonseva to these tax evasion, money laundering and other criminal "culprits."

Mosak and Fonseca's attorneys argue that Laundry reviews support their claims, including this excerpt from the Los Angeles Times: "In a movie with more than a few false aliases, this does not spoil anything to indicate that Banderas and Oldman actually play the firm's main partners, Ramon Fonseca and Jurgen Mosak (which partly explains the comically exaggerated Oldman German accent).

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