El Chapo Wants Royalties From Netflix For Planned Show About His Life

REUTERS/Henry Romero/Files

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman reportedly expects royalty payments from Netflix and Univision for a series they plan to make about his life according to his lawyer.

Andres Granados warned the two companies that his client would sue them if he is not compensated for their use of his life story in the “El Chapo” series, which premieres in 2017. Granados spoke on behalf of his client to the Associated Press, telling them that El Chapo’s actual name and nickname both come with a price tag.

“If they air this, they are immediately going to be sued,” he told the AP.

Granados claims that the two firms are in breach of the law because they did not ask the incarcerated cartel chief for permission to make a show about his life and that as long as El Chapo is alive, his permission is required.

Netflix and Univision in May jointly announced they’re teaming up to produce a series based on the life of El Chapo, whose nickname means Shorty. The series will focus on the Sinaloa Cartel boss, and will air its first season on Netflix and on Univision.

The attorney went on to explain that networks should look at paying the drug lord as an opportunity. If El Chapo is well compensated, the cartel kingpin, “could supply more information to make it a better project for them,” he told the AP.

Netflix has made a name for itself in depicting the war on drugs with its 2015 original series Narcos, which follows the life of Colombian cocaine king Pablo Escobar who ruled the global drug trade with an iron fist in the 1980s up until his death in 1993. The writer and co-creator of Narcos is behind another series on El Chapo from the History Channel called #Cartel.

The Sinaloa Cartel boss’ lawyer told the AP that he is willing to negotiate with Netflix and Univision to work out an arrangement that would please his cartel client. Kate del Castillo might be involved in network negotiations according to Granados since El Chapo gave her the rights to his life story in the event of a major film or television project on his life went into production.

Below is the trailer to the Netflix-Univision teaser trailer for El Chapo.


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