Catherine Zeta-Jones to Play Drug Kingpin in Lifetime Movie

catherine zeta-jones - Publicity - P 2017
Courtesy of Lifetime

Catherine Zeta-Jones has booked her next TV role.

Fresh off FX's Feud, the Oscar winner is set to star as drug kingpin Griselda Blanco in a Lifetime movie.

Set to premiere in 2018, Cocaine Godmother examines the complicated life of Blanco, who made her way to the U.S. with a fake passport at age 17 with her first husband. Living in Queens with her three sons, Blanco quickly became embroiled with local drug runners and masterminded the use of beautiful women, the elderly and children as drug mules and created false-bottom suitcases to smuggle cocaine from Colombia.

In the wake of her newfound wealth, her sons abandoned school and entered the family business instead. She then moved to Miami to expand her empire. However, the move also led to the death of her second husband, giving her the nickname, The Black Widow. Her willingness to use violence against her competition pushed her rivals to make repeated unsuccessful attempts to kill her.

In order to protect her youngest son with third husband, Blanco then moved west to California, where she was later arrested by the DEA and sentenced to a decade in jail. The case against her fell apart and upon her release, she was deported to Colombia, where she was gunned down in 2012. Over her lifetime, Blanco’s drug distribution network spanned across the U.S., and she was suspected of ordering more than 200 murders.

Award-winning cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (Narcos) will direct the drama from a script written by David McKenna (American History X).  Asylum Entertainment will produce the movie, with Steven Michaels, Jonathan Koch (The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe), Joan Harrison (Manson’s Lost Girls) and Alisa Tager (Enemy at the Gates) attached to executive produce.

Drug-world portrayals are nothing new for Zeta-Jones, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for her work in Traffic. The actress won an Oscar for her role in Chicago. Her other credits include Entrapment, Ocean's Twelve and America's Sweethearts. 

Zeta-Jones is the latest A-lister to head to Lifetime. Fresh off her Oscar win, Viola Davis starred in the court drama Custody; Zeta-Jones' Chicago co-star Queen Latifah is starring in the cable channel's Flint water crisis movie; and Oscar winner Anjelica Huston will headline a reimagining of the 1980 cult favorite Watcher in the Woods.