Truth is stranger than fiction. Netflix is releasing a series about the life of the late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla in December. The show, aptly called Selena: The Series, has been in the works since 2018 when the Quintanilla family gave permission for Netflix to produce a new series. The streamer first provided a first look at Christian Serratos in the titular role last year. That’s not the strange part about all this though.
Moctesuma Esparza, the producer of the 1997 Selena movie, suing Netflix and the Quintanilla family (namely, Selena’s father Abraham and sister Suzette) over the rights to Selena’s life story, on the other hand, is definitely strange.
According to the lawsuit (obtained by TMZ), Esparza wants $1 million in damages following claims that the Quintanillas broke a contractual agreement that they signed all the way back in 1995. That agreement, per Esparza, meant that the Quintanillas couldn’t produce or profit off of Selena’s life story unless he was also producing (they allegedly handed over all rights to Esparza). The deal allegedly expanded beyond the film to include any future remakes as well.
Esparza is also claiming that he spoke to Abraham and Suzette about producing a series focused solely on the early life of Selena. Obviously, that series never saw the light of day, but explains why Esparza is targeting Suzette specifically in addition to her father in the lawsuit. Neither the Quintanillas or Netflix reps have made any official statements regarding the lawsuit.
This is one of those instances where my initial reaction is, “how rude of this man to sue Selena’s family, claiming that they can’t license her life story to Netflix without his consent.” They ARE her family, after all, and as such have a claim over how they want Selena’s story to be told. But, it’s also Hollywood and contracts are a b*tch to contend with, so we’ll see how this pans out.
Selena: The Series premieres December 4 on Netflix.
Header Image Source: Netflix