Univision and Netflix have released a new teaser trailer for the series based on the story of the world’s infamous drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
The two networks recently announced they were teaming up to co-produce the series, which is titled “El Chapo,” based on the life story of the leader of the world’s most notorious criminal organization the Sinaloa Cartel.
Jana Bennett, president and general manager of the History Channel, says the series will portray an accurate account of the life of Guzman as a drug lord, dealing with murder, drugs, corruption, and celebrities, which she described as one of the “most fascinating of the past decade.”
“This explains why many directors and producers are interested in telling the story of “El Chapo,” which is an excellent example of how Univision and Netflix continue to innovate and evolve with premium storytelling format,” Bennett said.
Meanwhile, an attorney for the drug kingpin told the Associated Press last month that his client intended to sue if they went ahead and used his name.
“If they air this, they are immediately going to be sued, They, by necessity, need the authorization of Mr. Guzmán, because he is not dead,” declared Guzman’s attorney Andrés Granados.
Granados did, however, express a willingness to negotiate with the networks and said: “at the right price,”Guzman“ could supply more information” to make the series a better project.
Whether El Chapo’s camp have an argument is debatable. Existing U.S. law doesn’t clarify whether the networks have to pay Guzman for the rights to his life story.
In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Charles J. Glasser, First Amendment attorney, said: “Journalistic accounts of newsmakers, even using actual footage of the subject, have long been protected by the First Amendment, especially when a notorious criminal is the subject matter, as is the case here.”
However, Glasser said that would change when someone’s life story–a form of intellectual property called the ‘right of publicity’–is the basis for a fictionalized film or show.”
When Forbes asked if Guzman had an argument, he replied, “If he is correct that it is a fictionalized account, yes, he has an argument. But Netflix and Univision have a PR problem…how will people feel about them ‘getting permission from’–and probably paying–a notorious bad guy?”
Glasser added, “Giving editorial review and paying a story subject are patently unethical acts in journalism.”
“El Chapo” is slated to air in the United States in 2017.