Back in October, Sean Penn landed a blockbuster interview with Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, but new texts released by a Mexican newspaper show that to the drug kingpin the actor might as well have been Seann William Scott.
Grupo Milenio (via NBC) received a series of Blackberry texts intercepted by the Mexican government. One set of texts show Guzmán inviting actress Kate del Castillo to visit him in Sinaloa; in the other, Guzmán and his attorney Andrés Granados discuss that potential meeting.
When Granados tells Guzmán that del Castillo wants to bring along the actor Sean Penn, he finds himself in the position of having to clarify exactly who Penn even is. Granados explains that Penn was in the movie 21 Grams. Guzmán asks in which year 21 Grams was released and Granados states that he will have to check, before noting that the movie came out in 2003. Granados also says that aside from acting, Penn is a political activist who was critical of the Bush administration.
NBC also reported today that sources within the Justice Department indicated to them that Penn wasn’t the only one in the film industry with an interest in El Chapo, and that the drug lord’s reported desire to finance a biopic about himself might have led to a bunch of Hollywood power brokers ratting him out to the feds:
According to multiple officials, several production companies contacted the Justice Department to express an interest in producing a film. At least one of those companies — and a well-known actor — were in contact with associates of El Chapo.
At least one source says the information gleaned through the Hollywood contacts may have helped lead to Guzman’s recapture.
Other sources say it is unclear just how much help, if any, the information may have been.
Meanwhile, El Chapo is being held in the same prison from which he escaped last July. In order to prevent that from happening again, the jail is basically putting Guzmán through an elaborate game of musical chairs. Per Mexican government spokesperson Eduardo Sanchez, El Chapo is being constantly rotated between eight different prison cells so that he can’t, you know, dig a tunnel in the shower and drop into a mile-long tunnel leading to freedom. Via the AP:
“He is being changed from cell to cell without a pattern … he is only spending hours or a couple of days in the same cell,” Sanchez said late Tuesday.
Sanchez also said that Guzman’s cells have 24-hour surveillance and, unlike the room he broke out of last year, don’t contain any blind spots. Good luck.