Narcos Season 4: Release Date, El Chapo & Cast Details

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narcos season 3Getty

Pepe Rapazote, Arturo Castro and Pedro Pascal attend the “Narcos” Season 3 New York Screening at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 21, 2017 in New York City.

Since Narcos Season 3 was released on Netflix September 1, a lot of people have binge-watched it at warp speed (this author included). That has a lot of people wishing for a Season 4.

What’s known about Narcos Season 4? Is there a release date yet? What is it? Will there be a Narcos Season 4 for sure? Will it focus on Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican kingpin now in a U.S. prison? (Warning: Some plot spoilers ahead).

There is not a release date yet, but the show is returning for a fourth season. The Hollywood Reporter reported in September 2016 that it had been renewed for two additional seasons at least.

If the show follows the previous pattern, it’s likely to stream in September or August of 2018. “The first season landed on August 28th, 2015, the second on September 2nd, 2016 and the third on September 1st, 2017. Given this schedule, it’s most likely that it’ll arrive on the first Friday (Friday is when Netflix releases its originals) of September 2018 which just so happens to be September 7th, 2018 or it could release on August 28th, 2018,” reports What’s On Netflix. The cast for season 4 is not announced, but it’s likely to introduce new characters, following the trend of season 3.

Season 3 did the almost unthinkable for a series: It eliminated its seasons 1 and 2 protagonist, drug lord Pablo Escobar. Instead, Season 3 focuses almost entirely on the rise of the “four godfathers” of the Cali Cartel that rose to take his place. Whereas Escobar was an outlaw, the Cali Cartel godfathers moved in the highest echelons of Colombian political power.

However, at the end of Season 4, things aren’t looking up for the Cali Cartel, either. Where does that leave a Narcos Season 4?

A lot of people are hoping that the season will move on to the modern story line of Mexican cartels like Sinaloa and especially El Chapo, who, with his daring prison escapes, beauty queen wife, and ruthlessness, seems made for Netflix. That seems very likely; at the end of season 4, an official tells DEA agent Javier Pena that Mexico is where the next fight lies, and the season ends with scenes of the Rio Grande. Whether Pena would be back is far from certain; in a conversation with his father about Mexico, he says he’s “through.”

In real life, Pena wasn’t through; he continued working for the DEA for decades, but he was posted in Puerto Rico, Texas and Colombia again, according to Biography.com. He retired from the DEA in 2014.

The fact the show is called “Narcos” was purposeful; it set it up to continue beyond Escobar.

“From the beginning when we decided to call the show Narcos and not Pablo Escobar, I had always had in mind to tell the continuing story of cocaine,” showrunner Eric Newman told The Hollywood Reporter.

The Hollywood Reporter asked Newman if season 4 would continue the story of Colombia and the Cali Cartel or move on to Mexico and El Chapo. In 2016, he told the entertainment site that this was not yet determined. He pointed out that El Chapo was already involved in drug cartels in 1985, when season 2 ends. However, season 3 tied up the obvious loose ends when it comes to the Cali Cartel, as the godfathers met a variety of fates. Thus, the stage is set for Mexico. “While season 3 would feature Cali cartel and their sophisticated network, the next season is believed to be the Mexican cartel,” reports itechpost. This has not been definitively confirmed by the show’s creators, however.

If season 4 focuses on El Chapo, it’s not clear at which point in his life it would begin. El Chapo’s life is certainly rife with drama, right down to dramatic escapes from prison; he’s currently in U.S. custody facing trial for helming a multi-billion dollar drug enterprise.

“Cali was the cartel that really utilized the smuggling routes through Mexico and the Mexican heroin smugglers who were already incredibly successful. They very much got the Mexicans into the cocaine business, so there is sort of a natural evolution there. As to whether or not I would move directly into Mexico, it’s certainly a possibility,” Newman said to The Hollywood Reporter.

Will there be a Narcos Season 5? That’s unclear, but Newman told The Hollywood Reporter he would continue doing the show as long as Netflix allowed. There is a show on Netflix already called El Chapo, but that’s unlikely to get in the way.