Get ready for Jenny from the cell block.
STX films announced Thursday global superstar Jennifer Lopez will star as famed Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco in a new film adaptation of the controversial criminal’s life.
Titled The Godmother, the film could also mark Lopez’s directorial debut, as a source close to production tells EW the 50-year-old is considering stepping behind the camera to helm the feature in addition to playing the lead role.
Lopez and her longtime producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas will produce alongside Julie Yorn and the actress-singer’s manager, Benny Medina. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Sopranos) and Regina Corrado (Deadwood: The Movie) have penned the script, with Winter, actor Alex Pettyfer, Alex Brown, and Rick Yorn executive-producing.
“I’ve been forever fascinated by the story of Griselda Blanco and jumped at the chance to play her on screen,” said Lopez in a press release. “She is all things we look for in storytelling and dynamic characters – notorious, ambitious, conniving, chilling. In a genre dominated by legendary kingpins, I’m eager to shine a spotlight on this anti-hero and excited to partner with STX for the third time so we can bring this compelling, complicated story to life.”
Lopez was previously attached to star in an HBO-backed adaptation of Blanco’s life, though STX’s Thursday announcement indicates this is a new project.
Inspired by real-life events, The Godmother follows Blanco’s rise and fall as “La Madrina,” a a female drug lord who “outsmarted and outhustled the men around her to rise from an impoverished childhood in Colombia to become one of the world’s biggest drug lords” who helped smuggle drugs into the United States, according to the film’s synopsis. She was reportedly worth more than $2 billion during her lifetime, and was an instrumental player in Miami’s deadly Cocaine Cowboy Wars in the 1980s through the early 2000s.
In 2012 at age 69, Blanco was shot and killed outside a Medellín butcher shop, after serving nearly two decades in prison on murder and racketeering charges.
The Godmother marks Lopez’s third collaboration with STX Films, the studio which previously distributed her 2018 dramedy Second Act and is set to release her upcoming stripper revenge drama Hustlers on Sept. 13. Ahead of its theatrical bow, Hustlers will world-premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7.
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