The true crime story of Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco is coming to the big screen in a new biopic called The Godmother.
Blanco earned the nicknames La Madrina, Black Widow, and the Cocaine Godmother because of her violent role in the drug wars of the 1980s. Born in Cartagena, Colombia, Blanco emigrated to New York City, where she began a cocaine business with her husband. She later moved to Miami, where she built a billion-dollar empire before the age of 40. In 1985, her world came crumbling down. Authorities arrested Blanco, and she served 18 years in prison before her release in 2004. In 2012, a gunman shot her down in a motorcycle assassination in Colombia.
According to The Washington Post, Blanco's fearsome demeanor even inspired the character of Tony Montana from Scarface, and Jada Pinkett-Smith's Gotham character, Fish Mooney.
You might be wondering who's been cast to play the lead role. Blanco — although a criminal — provides one of the few opportunities for a Latina to take the lead in a powerful, challenging role in a major Hollywood production. Eva Longoria? Maybe Kate del Castillo? How about Morena Baccarin? Or even fellow Colombiana Catalina Sandino Moreno? Word had it that even J.Lo was hungry for the role. Given the amount of talented Latina actresses in the business today, the possibilities are truly endless.
Unfortunately, none of those women have been cast. Instead, filmmakers chose Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones to play the notorious Colombian kingpin.
Of course, many non-Latinos have been cast as one in the past. Al Pacino infamously portrayed Tony Montana in Scarface, Meryl Streep played Clara in the movie version of Isabel Allende's celebrated novel The House of the Spirits, and Madonna played Evita in the musical biopic of her life.
Twitter reactions to the casting proved to be mixed.
"Catherine Zeta-Jones looks NOTHING like Griselda Blanco," tweeted Twitter user SirCoach. "You mean to tell me we got NO up & coming Colombians to play that role? Smh."
"Wish there was a Latina in this role, still excited for the story though," wrote Hillary Crosley.
We leave the question to you: Do you find Catherine Zeta-Jones' casting offensive? Do you wish to see a Latina actress in the role?