El Chapo’s Lawyer Threatens to Sue Netflix and Univision for Royalties on Upcoming Series

Lead Photo: Photo: AP/Rebecca Blackwell
Photo: AP/Rebecca Blackwell
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You have to admire El Chapo’s entrepreneurial spirit. Even behind bars (following his widely publicized capture back in January), he’s intent on getting a cut of any Hollywood production that hopes to capitalize on his name. Earlier this month, Netflix and Univision announced they’ll be co-producing the drama series El Chapo, “based on the life story of one of the world’s most notorious criminals.”

While the press release didn’t name Joaquín Guzmán by name, the use of his nickname was enough for his lawyer, Andrés Granados, to proclaim that the streaming giant and the US-based, Spanish-language broadcaster would have to pay royalties to the Sinaloa drug trafficker if they wanted to avoid a lawsuit.

In case you need a refresher, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo holds Guzmán’s exclusive life rights, which she’d secured to presumably develop a feature film about his life. It’s a detail that, as we’ve learned, was what had cemented the relationship between El Chapo and La Reina del Sur, and might have led to his most recent capture.

As Granados told the Associated Press, del Castillo may also factor into the talks with Netflix and Univision. His client, the lawyer suggested, is obviously open to helping out the production and lending his name (not to mention offering up juicy details that would enhance the project) for an unspecified amount of money.

Given that Netflix has found success with that other drug kingpin drama series of theirs (the Pablo Escobar-focused Narcos) you have to imagine they’re banking on El Chapo being just as popular, especially since drug cartel stories remain the most tried and trusted Latin American stories Hollywood sees any value in producing.