Drug lords, real and fictional, plentiful in pop culture

He thought his story was movie material. After all drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the leader of Sinaloa cartel, had been captured twice and escaped, and that, along with his ruthlessness, made him a name known in pop culture.

See Full Article

But it was those Hollywood dreams that helped Mexican marines track him down in Los Mochis, a seaside city, and capture him Friday.

Guzman might yet become a Hollywood subject. The Hollywood Reporter reported last summer that director/producer Ridley Scott and Fox were teaming up to adapt the fictional book, "The Cartel," into a movie.

Drug lords -- both fictitious and real-- have long captured attention as lead characters in movies and TV.

A look at drug lords in popular culture:


The current Netflix series tells the story of real-life Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, portrayed by Wagner Moura.

"Breaking Bad"

A TV series about fictional meth cook and would-be kingpin Walter White, portrayed by Brian Cranston, which ran from 2008 to 2013. White was a high school chemistry teacher, but when diagnosed with cancer, he turned to producing methamphetamine with a former student. The series was set in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"American Gangster"

Denzel Washington starred in this 2007 movie as Frank Lucas, who takes over after his boss dies and becomes a key heroin drug lord in Harlem.

"The Wire"

Russell "Stringer" Bell and Avon Barksdale, portrayed by Idris Elba and Wood Harris, respectively, play kingpins in this show about different facets of crime and life in Baltimore, including the inner workings of drug-selling street gangs. The series aired from 2002 to 2008

"New Jack City"

In the 1991 film, Nino Brown, portrayed by Wesley Snipes, becomes a powerful crime lord with a growing drug business. Even friends and associates aren't safe from his wrath. In the end, Brown is killed after leaving a courtroom. The movie also starred Ice-T.


Al Pacino plays Tony Montana in this 1983 move that's become legendary even among those who haven't seen it. He's a Cuban immigrant who enters a life of crime and eventually, takes over a drug cartel and inevitably, spirals out of control. A memorable line: "Say hello to my little friend."


Latest Entertainment News

  • 'The Walking Dead': Michael Cudlitz says no one is safe in Season 7

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Fans of The Walking Dead might still be mourning the victims of Sunday night’s shocking Season 7 premiere, but they shouldn’t feel too bad for the actors involved. Michael Cudlitz, who played the gruff-but-tender ex-soldier Abraham, says coming into AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama without the assumption that your character will be killed off at some point is foolish. Source
  • Q&A: 'Walking Dead' director on who got killed-off in 'horrible' new episode

    Entertainment CTV News
    After six seasons of relentless blood, gore and anguish, it's probably more difficult to shock and appall the fans of "The Walking Dead" compared to most other shows. But Sunday night's season 7 premiere managed to do both. Source
  • Heath Ledger had 'Joker shrine' set up in his apartment: report

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Heath Ledger took his role as The Joker so seriously, he transformed his New York City loft into a shrine to the character, law enforcement sources tell Page Six. The gossip site reports after Ledger died of an overdose in 2008, cops entered his home to find he was an obsessed Batman superfan who filled his apartment with Batman comics, clown statues, and books about clown performers. Source
  • Singer Pete Burns of '80s band Dead or Alive dies at 57

    Entertainment CBC News
    Pete Burns of 1980s pop band Dead or Alive, best known for its worldwide hit You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), has died of a heart attack at the age of 57. The British singer-songwriter's management team confirmed Monday that Burns died of "a massive cardiac arrest" a day earlier. Source
  • Madeleine Thien, Canada's newest literary star, a favourite to win prestigious Man Booker Prize

    Entertainment CBC News
    Madeleine Thien is Canada's newest literary star — making a splash in Canada and abroad with her novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing — nabbing a high-profile trio of nominations for the Man Booker Prize, the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Awards. Source
  • Dead or Alive frontman Pete Burns dead at 57

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    British singer Pete Burns has died after suffering a heart attack. The former Dead or Alive frontman passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, according to a statement issued by his management team on Burns’ official Twitter page. Source
  • The Bard shares billing: Shakespeare had help with Henry VI plays and others, say scholars

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Bard was not a solo act. Oxford University Press' new edition of William Shakespeare's works will credit Christopher Marlowe as co-author of the three Henry VI plays, underscoring that the playwright collaborated with others on some of his most famous works. Source
  • Britney Spears suffers wardrobe malfunction during Las Vegas show

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Oops...it happened again. Britney Spears has once again suffered a wardrobe malfunction during her Pieces of Me show in Las Vegas. During the performance of "I Love Rock and Roll ," the clasp on the back of her black halter top came undone, leaving the singer to hold up it up with one hand over her nearly-exposed breast. Source
  • Drake slams Kid Cudi on 'More Life' LP

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Drake is going after the Chosen One. The Toronto superstar teased his next LP – titled More Life – during his OVO Sound radio show Sunday and one of the tracks takes a swipe at fellow rapper Kid Cudi. Source
  • 1960s teen idol Bobby Vee dead at 73

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    MINNEAPOLIS — Pop idol Bobby Vee, the boyish, grinning 1960s singer whose career was born when he took a Midwestern stage as a teenager to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed rock ’n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Source