Penn Fearful of 'Reckless' Netflix Film on 'El Chapo'

Actor apparently nervous film will make it appear he helped DOJ nab famous drug lord
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2017 1:47 PM CDT
It's Sean Penn Vs. Netflix in Fight Over 'El Chapo' Film
Sean Penn attends the premiere of "Snowden" on Sept. 13, 2016, in New York.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Sean Penn's 2015 Mexican sitdown with drug lord Joaquin Guzman (aka "El Chapo"), which he documented in an early 2016 Rolling Stone article, caused its fair share of controversy. And the ruckus isn't over yet, as the actor is now going after Netflix for a documentary on Guzman, set to start airing Friday, that Penn's spokesman says in an email to the New York Times is a "profoundly false, foolish, and reckless narrative" that could put Penn's life in danger. The actor's main bone of contention with The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story: that he thinks the three-episode film hints he assisted the DOJ in helping to capture El Chapo, who was busted right around the time Penn's Rolling Stone article went public.

Del Castillo, a Mexican actress, was with Penn when he met with Guzman, and the film is said to take place from her POV. Producer David Broome denies there's anything in the film that says Penn "is in cahoots" with the Justice Department and that both he and Netflix tried to see if Penn wanted to take part (Penn reportedly never answered); Netflix backs that up, saying in a statement "Penn was given the opportunity on multiple occasions to participate." Broome says when Penn saw an advance copy of the film, he demanded changes. Deadline notes that Penn's lawyers contacted Netflix shortly after and said Penn was afraid Guzman's associates might go after him if the film wasn't altered. A letter from Penn's lawyer to Netflix notes that "blood will be on [Netflix's] hands if this film causes bodily harm" to Penn. (In the end, Penn thought his Rolling Stone article on El Chapo was a failure.)

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