As Pablo Escobar fever keeps smoldering with no sign of abating, film and television execs find themselves faced with a pressing ethical dilemma: how to make even more money? Luckily for them, the Medellín Cartel was actually packed with a Marvel Comics universe-worth of deplorable criminal anti-heroes, all of whom could easily spin off into their own multi-million dollar media franchises. So who will get the next round of biopics and premium television series?
Well, if J. Lo has anything to do with it, your next favorite drug dealer might very well be “The Black Widow,” Griselda Blanco. Already the subject of the wildly popular Mexican telenovela La viuda negra, the notoriously violent queenpin behind the Miami Drug Wars is also the subject of the upcoming feature The Godmother, starring Catherine Zeta Jones. But with that project apparently stalled after principal photography began last November, J. Lo’s Nuyorican Productions has signed a deal with HBO to bring Blanco’s story to the big screen.
Born in Cartagena in 1943, Blanco moved with her mother to Medellín at a young age and quickly earned a reputation for kidnapping, petty theft, and even murder before building her Cartel de Medellín-affiliated cocaine empire out of New York and Miami in the 1970s. After serving 10 years in a US federal prison, she was deported back to Colombia in 2004 where she maintained a low profile until she was ultimately found shot to death in 2012.
Lopez alleges that she’s been fascinated with Blanco’s story for years – which may be true, but that doesn’t mean she and HBO aren’t just cashing in on cartel fever. How about next year we get a story of a hardworking Colombian olympic athlete like, say, Oscar Figueroa?