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Universal has picked up the rights to The Hunt for El Chapo, a New Yorker article about the capture of notorious drug cartel leader Joaquin Guzman.
Peter Berg, the filmmaker who has shown an affinity for gritty worldwide-spanning action thrillers such as Lone Survivor and The Kingdom, is attached to direct and produce via his Film 44 production banner.
Craig Borten, who was nominated for an Academy Award for writing The Dallas Buyers Club with Melisa Wallack, is on board to write the adaptation.
Guzman was the head of the Sinaloa cartel and in the early 21st century became Mexico’s top cartel kingpin. The U.S. Treasury Department called him “the world’s most powerful drug trafficker,” Forbes placed him on its list of most powerful people for three years and he was also listed as the 10th richest man in Mexico in 2011.
Guzman, who was imprisoned in the early 1990s but escaped, evaded capture for over a decade while inspiring narcocorridos, local folk songs centering on drug lords. He was captured February 22, 2014, in an operation conducted by the Mexican Navy, the DEA and the U.S. Marshals.
The New Yorker piece was published May 5, 2014, and written by Patrick Radden Keefe. Keefe will act as a co-producer on the project.
Berg is repped by WME and Hirsch Wallerstein, Borten by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman.
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