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El Chapo and the blurring lines between journalism and Hollywood

by Take Two®

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Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escorted by army soldiers to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City on Friday. Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Hollywood is always on the lookout for a good story.

Which is why perhaps it comes as little surprise that several film projects about Mexican drug lord El Chapo Guzman were underway well before he was captured last weekend.

Director Ridley Scott is attached to an adaptation of a novel called, "The Cartel," about El Chapo's legendary escape from prison.

A low-budget Mexican film called "Chapo: The Escape of the Century" hits Mexican theaters this weekend.

And, as we learned on Saturday, the notorious fugitive had also been in talks with Sean Penn about a biopic.

Penn wrote about his interactions with El Chapo for Rolling Stone magazine, but the piece raised a lot of questions about storytelling.

What are some of the key differences between the tales we tell through journalism and those we see on the big screen? And what happens when those two worlds collide?

Here to weigh in is someone who's spent plenty of time in both fields.

Peter Landesman is a journalist who's written for the  New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Atlantic Monthly. He's also a screenwriter and director, his latest picture being, "Concussion," starring Will Smith.

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