Griselda Blanco was known by many monikers including the “Cocaine Godmother” and her notoriety has Hollywood calling including a film adaption starring Jennifer Lopez. Now it’s been announced that fellow Colombiana Sofia Vergara is set to star in a Netflix limited series as the Queen of Narco-Trafficking. Griselda chronicles the real-life story of Blanco of the Medellín Cartel who also founded the Miami-based cocaine trade staring in the 1980s. The six-episode series will also delve into her role as a mother and her marriages that led to her also being known as the “Black Widow.”
“Griselda Blanco was a larger-than-life character whose ruthless but ingenious tactics allowed her to rule a billion dollar empire years before many of the most notorious male kingpins we know so much about,” Vergara said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have found the perfect partners in Eric, Andrés and Netflix to help us bring this story of her life to the screen.”
Blanco died at the age of 69 in 2012 after she was was shot twice by a motorcyclist in the streets of Medellín. She was deported from the U.S. in 2004 after serving nearly two decades in prison on murder and racketeering charges in New York and Florida after having settled in Miami in in the late 1970s. She was known to be both charming and dangerous, becoming one of the most powerful drug kingpins in the world working the drug trade from Colombia to Miami, New York, and California. She was making millions and lived an extravagant life and yet in the last eight years of her life she allegedly left behind the world of crime and became a born-again Christian.
Her popularity in media has grown since she was featured in the 2006 documentary, Cocaine Cowboys, and she was also the focus of a Lifetime biopic Cocaine Godmother (2018) starring Catherine Zeta-Jones. The biopic The Godmother starring Lopez, which she reportedly will also direct, was first announced in 2019 but it seems the project it still in the works.
This will also be somewhat of a departure for Vergara, known for her award-winning supporting role as Gloria Pritchett on the comedy Modern Family. While Blanco was known to be charming and extravagant, she was also known to be brutally violent and would kill anyone who got in her way. Suffice it to say this is going to be a thrilling ride for viewers with a layered performance from Vergara.
Vergara will also serve as executive producer of the project with Luis Balaguer for Latin World Entertainment, a production company they founded. The series comes from Empire and Justified writer Ingrid Escajeda, who is showrunner, writer, and executive producer as well as Eric Newman, Doug Miro, Andrés Baiz, and Carlo Bernard— the creative team behind Netflix’s Narcos, Colombia native Baiz will direct all episodes.
There’s no word yet on when it will be released.
UPDATE: Jan. 19, 2022
Netflix releases the first look of Vergara as Griselda: