Netflix is casting Modern Family star Sofia Vergara as real-life "Black Widow" and "Cocaine Godmother" Griselda Blanco, in the ucpoming limited series Griselda. Narcos and Narcos: Mexico showrunner Eric Newman will write and executive produce Griselda, as part of his overall deal with Netflix, though this new limited series is specified as not being a Narcos spinoff. Narcos creative team members Doug Miro, Andrés Baiz and Carlo Bernard will also executive produce Griselda, as willl Luis Balaguer. Andrés Baiz will direct also direct the six episodes of the limited series, bringing the authenticity and eye of a Colombian native. Ingrid Escajeda (Justified, Empire) will serve as showrunner.
Griselda Blanco Restrepo was a notorious Colombian drug lord known as La Madrina, the Black Widow, the Cocaine Godmother and the Queen of Narco-Trafficking. She was a figure in the infamous Medellîn Cartel in Colombia, and was a key pioneer in making Miami, New York, and Southern California premiere import hubs for the cocaine drug trade in the 1980s and 1990s. Blanco was suspected of being responsible for over 200 murders during her years in operation and was so undisputed in ruthlessness, cunning, and power that she became the first female criminal billionaire in the world – despite running her empire from prison from the mid-80s to the 2000s.
"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," says Sofia Vergara 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."
Eric Newman adds, "Griselda Blanco has long been a passion project for Sofia, and we are grateful that she and her partners at LatinWe have chosen us to help her tell that story. Sofia is a brilliant talent and her passion combined with a fantastic story from Doug and Ingrid, and the amazing Andrés Baiz at the directing helm, means we have a very exciting series to share with audiences."
An lifelong drug dealer and killer seems like an odd place to hang the hat of progression when it comes to better representing female stories onscreen, but to each their own. Blanco's story is one that has been repeatedly told onscreen, with Catherine Zeta-Jones playing her in the Lifetime TV biopic Cocaine Godmother in 2018; there aer also plans for Jennifer Lopez to play Blanco in a biopic movie, The Godmother. If that wasn't enough, Griselda Blanco has become a bonafide pop-culture icon, even inspiring the Griselda Records label, which is one of the most popular acts in rap at the moment.
No timeline on when Griselda will stream on Netflix.