EXCLUSIVE: Natalie Chaidez (The Flight Attendant, Queen of the South) has acquired the film and TV rights to Chicano writer Oscar “Zeta” Acosta’s novels Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo and The Revolt of the Cockroach People and will executive produce and supervise writing for an upcoming TV series.
Chaidez is developing the project with Joe Loya (Queen of the South, Baby Driver) and Phillip Rodriguez (The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo, Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle).
Acosta was a Mexican American attorney, politician, novelist, and activist in the Chicano Civil Rights Movement who disappeared in Mexico in 1974, a year after his second novel The Revolt of the Cockroach People was released and is presumed dead. He is also famously known for his friendship with Hunter S. Thomson, who characterized Acosta as Samoan attorney Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
“Oscar Zeta Acosta has been a passion of mine since I first encountered his books in an East LA library. Acosta’s story is one of the deepest and cinematic stories in the Latinx canon. I’m thrilled to bring his story to life,” Chaidez, who is of Mexican and Irish ancestry, told Deadline in an exclusive statement.
The TV series will feature elements from both of his published novels, the first is loosely based on his early years, and the second tells real stories from his later years during the Chicano movement while changing the identities of those involved. It’s currently being shopped around to networks and streamers.
Chaidez is currently co-showrunner on the second season of HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant alongside Steve Yockey currently in production. She was previously an executive producer and writer on USA Network’s Queen of the South and served as creator and executive producer of the Syfy drama Hunters.
The L.A. native is repped by CAA and Circle of Confusion.