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Zeta turns drug baron for surprise movie role.

Byline: Robin Turner Reporter robin.tuner@walesonline.co.uk

Catherine Zeta Jones is to play a real life female Columbian drug kingpin in an explosive new movie, The Godmother.

Nominated for a Golden Globe for her supporting role as the wife of a drug lord in 2000's Traffic, the 45-year-old Swansea-born Oscar winner will now be centre stage in The Godmother, directed by Norwegian Eva Sorhaug.

Zeta Jones, as is being widely reported in the USA, will play Griselda Blanco, the first and only woman to rise to the higher echelons of Colombia's Medellin drug cartel.

Blanco, known as The Godmother (La Madrina), the Black Widow or The Cocaine Godmother, was active during the Miami drug wars of the 1970s and 1980s. Born in Cartagena, Colombia, she rose from her roots as a teenage runaway and prostitute and emigrated to New York where she started a cocaine business with her husband.

Indicted on several drug charges, she fled back to Colombia but resurfaced in Miami where she established a distribution network connecting New York, Miami, LA, and Colombia that made her a multi-millionaire.

After being arrested in the mid 1980s, the mother-of-four served 18 years in prison before being released in 2004 when she was deported back to Colombia.

But her days in the drug world, when she ordered enemies to be gunned down, were not forgotten and she was killed in a motorcycle driveby assassination in 2012.

According to Colombian press reports at the time, she was walking out of a butcher's shop when two gunmen on motorbikes pulled up before one pumped two bullets into her head.

The sensational biopic will draw much of its material on two classic documentaries, Cocaine Cowboys and Cocaine Cowboys 2: Hustlin' With The Godmother. The two documentary films outline Blanco's life and upbringing and tell how she managed to establish a distribution network for cocaine that connected Colombia with major US cities including Miami, New York and Los Angeles.

The Godmother screenplay is written by Frank Baldwin with no production schedule determined so far.

CAPTION(S):

Drug kingpin Griselda Blanco, who will be portrayed by Catherine Zeta Jones <Bin a new film unknown

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:3COLO
Date:Oct 3, 2014
Words:361
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