Catherine Zeta-Jones Set to Star as Infamous Columbian Drug Kingpin in Lifetime Movie

“Cocaine Godmother” will look at the life of Griselda Blanco

Catherine Zeta Jones
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Catherine Zeta-Jones is sticking to TV with her latest role thanks to Lifetime.

The network announced Thursday that the Oscar winner is set to star as drug kingpin Griselda Blanco in the upcoming Lifetime movie “Cocaine Godmother.”

It’ll be directed by Academy Award winning-cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) and is set to go into production this year, with a premiere date in 2018.

The movie tells the story of Blanco, a Columbian drug lord who was a pioneer in the cocaine drug trade in Miami in the 70s and ’80s. Before that though, at just 17, she made her way to the U.S. with a fake passport. She raised her three sons in Queens, New York, with her first husband Carlos, but then became intrigued by the local drug trade.

She’s most famous for utilizing the elderly and young children to smuggle cocaine from Columbia.

The title of the movie comes from one of Blanco’s many nicknames, which included Cocaine Godmother and Black Widow (due to the death of her second husband). She was eventually arrested and sentenced to a decade in jail, but was deported to Columbia.

Blanco is suspected of ordering over 200 murders, was killed in 2012 during a motorcycle drive-by in Columbia as she walked out of a butcher shop.

A film based on Blanco’s life has been in the works since at least 2014, with Zeta-Jones attached and Norwegian director Eva Sørhaug set at the helm. At the time it was called “The Godmother.” The latest news came in 2016, with the announcement that Jennifer Lopez was going to play Blanco in an untitled HBO film about the kingpin’s rise and fall.

Steven Michaels, Jonathan Koch (“The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe”), Joan Harrison (“Manson’s Lost Girls”) and Alisa Tager (Enemy at the Gates) are producing, while Navarro will executive produce. David McKenna (“American History X”) wrote the script.

Welsh actress Zeta-Jones most recently appeared on FX’s anthology series “Feud: Bette and Joan” playing Olivia Mary de Havilland.