An upcoming film about a real-life female drug kingpin will be starring Catherine Zeta-Jones in the title role of The Godmother. In it, she will be playing the role of Griselda Blanco, a fearsome figure in the Colombian drug cartel who was active during the Miami drug wars of the 1970s and 1980s.
Zeta-Jones previously played a drug-related role in 2000’s Traffic, where she fleshed out the character of the wife of a drug lord. However, in The Godmother, Zeta-Jones tackles the drug world head on, portraying a female drug lord known for carrying out executions and violent attacks on her enemies in order to maintain her grip on the drug trade. This reputation for violence and death earned the character of Zeta-Jones her nicknames – Black Widow, La Madrina and the Cocaine Godmother.
The film starring Zeta-Jones will be based on the real-life subject of two classic documentaries, Cocaine Cowboys and Cocaine Cowboys 2: Hustlin’ With The Godmother. These two documentaries outline the life of Blanco and how she established a distribution network for cocaine that connected Colombia and the cities of Miami, New York and Los Angeles.
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The Godmother will be directed by Norwegian filmmaker Eva Sørhaug, who directed films such as 90 Minutes and Cold Lunch. Its screenplay is written by Frank Baldwin, although no production schedule has been determined thus far.
Zeta-Jones faces the challenge of portraying a woman with a colorful and dangerous life. Blanco grew up to be a teenage runaway and prostitute in Cartagena, Colombia before migrating to the US and starting a cocaine business with her husband in New York City. After fleeing back to Colombia to escape federal charges, Blanco reestablished herself in Miami, where her cocaine business flourished due to her connections to the Medellin Cartel. She served 18 years of prison starting in 1985, after which she was deported to Colombia. Back in her home country, Blanco was gunned down in 2012 in a motorcycle drive-by shooting at the age of 69.