When discussing cinema in the context of “best crime films,” The Godfather is bound to come up. While I agree that it’s a fantastic film both cinematically and thematically, there’s something the Corleone family just doesn’t have: a strict basis in reality. Contrast that against upcoming biopic The Godmother, chronicling the rise of the infamous drug lord Griselda Blanco, and you’ve got a new contender in the ring. Blanco, known as “The Godmother of Cocaine,” was the first and only female drug lord in history and her narcotics network (which she ran partially from prison for a time) decimated Miami throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Producing the project will be multiple Academy Award-winner Branko Lustig (Schindler’s List) and Daniela Cretu (The Third Wish), with a screenplay by Frank Baldwin. Production is scheduled to start this fall and producers are currently scouting locations. Hit the jump to read the full press release on The Godmother.
Check out the full press release below to get acquainted with one of the most notorious figures in criminal history:
Producers Option Life Rights To Notorious Drug Lord Griselda Blanco
to Make Bio Pic “The Godmother”
February 3, 2012 – It was announced today that multiple Academy Award® winner Branko Lustig (SCHINDLER’S LIST, GLADIATOR, HANNIBAL, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, AMERICAN GANGSTER) and producer Daniela Cretu have optioned the life rights of the infamous Griselda Blanco (aka “The Godmother of Cocaine,” “La Madrina” and “Black Widow”) and will produce a feature biopic titled THE GODMOTHER.
THE GODMOTHER is a true story based on the incredulous life of Griselda Blanco, the first and only woman in history to head a major Colombian drug network, and chronicles the rise and fall of the woman who became the wealthiest, deadliest, most notorious and most wanted drug lord in the world.
Producers have been in talks with Blanco and her family and have also optioned the life rights of Blanco’s youngest son, Michael Corleone for the project.
Academy Award® nominee Nicholas Pileggi (AMERICAN GANGSTER, writer of GOODFELLAS and CASINO) is producing alongside Lustig and Cretu. Frank Baldwin is writing the screenplay.
Aiming for a Fall 2012 start date, producers are currently scouting shooting locations and will be traveling to Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Miami, Florida this month to evaluate shooting options.
Notorious for instigating and fueling the much chronicled Miami drug wars that took place during the late 70s and 80s, Griselda Blanco is the only woman to ever make it to the top echelon of drug cartel society. Blanco is one of the few drug lords who actually prospered during the 80s, grossing millions of dollars a month amidst fierce competition as cocaine replaced marijuana as the country’s drug of choice.
Blanco is regarded as the first and only female drug lord in history and is also credited with being a visionary and pioneer in the business as she was the first person to see the lucrative capabilities in connecting New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Colombia for cocaine distribution. Her impact on the American landscape was putting the city of Miami on the map. A woman living with no boundaries, Blanco built the city of Miami with drugs, blood and money.
Blanco was eventually arrested and convicted in 1986 in Los Angeles. She was the first woman in U.S. history to be sentenced to the electric chair, but ended up serving 18 years in prison before she was released in 2004 and deported back to Colombia.
THE GODMOTHER is an against-all-odds story. Blanco came from the poorest barrio in Colombia to compete in a ruthless, cutthroat, men’s world, only to beat them at their own game. She was a woman and mother who created and ran a billion dollar empire. Unlike every other drug lord, she was not killed and is not living her life behind bars. She is free living in her country.
THE GODMOTHER is the debut feature from First Born Films, a new Los Angeles based independent production shingle founded by Branko Lustig and Daniela Cretu that develops and produces a wide range of higher budgeted independent films for a broad commercial audience.
First Born Films is repped by Eric F. Harbert at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.