Sofía Vergara is set to star in a Netflix limited series about notorious drug trafficker Griselda Blanco, Variety has learned.
Titled “Griselda,” the series chronicles the real life of savvy and ambitious Colombian business woman who created one of the most profitable drug cartels in history. A devoted mother, Blanco’s lethal blend of charm and unsuspecting savagery helped her expertly navigate between family and business leading her to become widely known as the Black Widow and the Cocaine Godmother.
The show will consist of six 50-minute episodes.
“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. “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.”
It had previously been speculated that the series would be a spinoff of the popular Netflix series “Narcos.” However, according to an individual with knowledge of the project, it is a completely separate story with no connection to the existing series. Vergara and Luis Balaguer have been developing the project for eight years under their Latin World Entertainment banner before bringing it to Netflix.
Several members of the “Narcos” creative team are working on the show, though. Specifically, Eric Newman, Doug Miro, Andrés Baiz and Carlo Bernard all serve as executive producers, with Newman currently under an overall deal at Netflix. Ingrid Escajeda serves as the writer, executive producer, and showrunner, with Escajeda co-writing the first episode with Miro. Vergara will executive produce in addition to starring, with Balaguer also executive producing. Baiz, a native Colombian like Vergara, will direct all six episodes.
“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,” Newman said. “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.”
Vergara is best known for her starring role in the hit ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” for which she earned four Emmy nominations. The show ended after 11 seasons and 250 episodes in 2020. Vergara has also starred in films such as “Chef,” “Machete Kills,” “Madea Goes to Jail,” and “Four Brothers.” She joined the judges panel of “America’s Got Talent” in 2020.
“Eric Newman has deftly brought to life among the most dynamic characters and stories on screen today,” said Peter Friedlander, vice president of U.S. and Canadian scripted series at Netflix. “We’re excited to continue on this creative path with him and for this collaboration with Sofia Vergara — a force in entertainment and a world-beloved talent. With an incredible team at the helm — we can’t wait for the world to see how Ingrid Escajeda, Doug Miro, and Andrés Baiz take on the twists and turns of Griselda Blanco’s epic story.”
This will not be the first time Blanco has been portrayed onscreen. Catherine Zeta-Jones played her in the 2017 film “Cocaine Godmother.” Jennifer Lopez is also currently developing a Blanco biopic called “The Godmother” with STX Films.