It was only a matter of time before the crazy life of the present-day boss of all bosses Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was brought to the screen. Now, months after his recapture and incarceration, the History Channel is putting El Chapo’s story into development for a scripted series named #Cartel. Chris Brancato, the creator of the acclaimed Narcos series about the previous drug king, Pablo Escobar, is at the helm of the production.
Described as a story of power, money, sex and the human cost of the drug wars, the drama will chronicle the kingpin’s rise to power, taking a look inside the stranger-than-fiction world of drug cartels who use social media to maintain their image, recruit new members and threaten rivals. Unlike drug lords of decades past, El Chapo, who reigned over the Mexican drug trafficking cartel for 25 years, has fan followings, with relationships in the entertainment and music industry that stretch past the Mexican border and into the United States.
According to Brancato, “The show is a metaphor for the lives we present on the internet, the secret selves we reveal in supposedly private communication, and the risks of not-so-humble-bragging on social media.” Since the show will be airing on the History Channel, #Cartel will be based on historical research, not source material.
“As we expand the canvas of topics covered by History to include events of the recent past, we are pleased to be teaming with Chris Brancato on this project,’” said History Channel president and GM Jana Bennett. “The true story of El Chapo, fraught with murder, drugs, corruption and celebrity, has been and continues to be one of the most disturbing and fascinating of the past decade. Chris is the perfect person to bring this slice of modern history to the screen.”