Written by Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter
Sofia Vergara is the Godmother.
The actress most known for her long-running role on Modern Family is making her debut in a dramatic turn as Griselda Blanco, the Colombian “Godmother” who created one of the most profitable cartels in history.
Starring and executive produced by Vergara, the six-episode limited series — which now has a teaser trailer (below) — lands on Netflix Jan. 25.
Griselda comes from the creators and executive producers of Narcos and Narcos: Mexico. Created by Eric Newman and Doug Miro, they executive produce along with Ingrid Escajeda, who is co-showrunner with Miro, and Carlo Bernard. Andrés Baiz directs all episodes. Vergara and Luis Balaguer executive produce via Latin World Entertainment.
When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Newman called Griselda “a cousin” to Narcos, which was a global hit for Netflix during its three-season run and subsequent Narcos: Mexico spinoff series. That’s what attracted Newman to the story, as well as Vergara’s passion to tell it. The Colombia-born Vergara and Balaguer had been developing the project for eight years before bringing it to Netflix.
“It had a lot of the elements and felt like Narcos to us but we also wanted it to be Sofia’s party,” he said of joining the creative team. “She’s so good in it and it’s something that she’s been carrying around. To go back to your question about what appeals to me, or what the throughline is, it’s that kind of passion. There’s always someone in the equation — and I’ve been the person and I’ve also facilitated for the person — and here it was Sofia who was like, ‘I want to do this. I don’t know that I can do this but I want to try.’ And I knew she could.”
Despite her proximity to Pablo Escobar and the Medellín cartel, Blanco was never a featured character on Narcos. The female narco — who went by the names the Black Widow, La Madrina and the Cocaine Godmother — was one of the most powerful cocaine traffickers in the 1980s and a key figure in Miami’s drug wars.
The logline reads: “Griselda is inspired by the life of the savvy and ambitious Colombian Griselda Blanco, who created one of the most profitable cartels in history. In 1970s-80s Miami, Blanco’s lethal blend of unsuspected savagery and charm helped her expertly navigate between business and family, leading her to become widely known as the Godmother.”
The cast includes Alberto Guerra (Dario Sepúlveda), Christian Tappan (Arturo Mesa), Martín Rodríguez (Rivi Ayala), Juliana Aidén Martinez (June Hawkins) and Vanessa Ferlito (Carmen Gutiérrez).
Carolina Giraldo (a.k.a Karol G), Fredy Yate, Paulina Dávila, José Zúñiga, Camilo Jiménez Varón, Julieth Restrepo, Gabriel Sloyer, Diego Trujillo and Narcos star Alberto Amann guest star.
Vergara ended her run on the five-time Emmy Award-winning ABC comedy Modern Family and has judged on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Her film credits include Bottom of the 9th, New Year’s Eve, Four Brothers, Chef, Big Trouble and Hot Pursuit, the latter of which Vergara also produced.
Director of Photography: Armando Salas, ASC