Following the success of the Narcos franchise, Netflix is diving headfirst back into another biographic series about the drug empire led by Griselda Blanco with Sofia Vergara. The new limited series has wrapped production and will be coming to Netflix by the end of 2023. Here’s what you need to know about Griselda.
News of the show first came about in November 2021, with Illuminerdi first reporting that a Narcos spin-off was in development with the same team. Days later, we also reported that the show was in development, and just a day after that, Netflix officially unveiled the title but was keen to stress that “there is no association or crossover between the shows.”
It’s taken a long time for Griselda to come to our screens. According to the initial PR release from Netflix, it’s taken Latin World Entertainment eight years for the series to be picked up by a network.
So with that out of the way, let’s run through everything we know so far about Griselda coming soon to Netflix:
Who’s behind Griselda on Netflix?
Ingrid Escajeda is the project’s showrunner, writer, and executive producer. Her previous credits include working on Empire as a co-executive producer, Justified, Sneaky Pete, and Better Off Ted.
Luis Balaguer, Doug Miro, Andrés Baiz, Carlo Bernard also Executive Produce.
Andrés Baiz, who directed episodes 7 and 8 of Netflix’s The Sandman, will direct all six episodes of Griselda. His other credits include directing episodes on Narcos and Narcos: Mexico, plus 2013’s Roa and 2011’s The Hidden Face.
Eric Newman of Grand Electric (who works with Netflix on many projects under his overall deal) serves as co-creator and executive producer on the show.
Speaking about the project, Newman said:
“Griselda Blanco has long been a passion project for Sofia and we are grateful that she and her partners at LatinWe have chosen us to help her tell that story. Sofia is a brilliant talent and her passion combined with a fantastic story from Doug and Ingrid, and the amazing Andrés Baiz at the directing helm, means we have a very exciting series to share with audiences.”
In August 2023, speaking to THR, Newman teased that there’d be lots of comedy moments in Griselda and addressed whether or not it’s connected to the main Narcos series (which is expected to get an El Chapo spin-off):
“It can’t help but be a bit of a cousin. It had a lot of the elements and felt like Narcos to us but we also wanted it to be Sofia’s party. She’s so good in it and it’s something that she’s been carrying around.”
Latin World Entertainment (founded by Luis Balaguer and Sofia Vergara) and Grand Electric are the two companies producing the show for Netflix.
What is Griselda about? Who is the drug queen Griselda?
Griselda Blanco ranks among the most notorious drug lords in history, often appearing in lists where she’s compared to Pablo Escobar, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, Al Capone, and El Chapo.
This limited series is her story coming to the big screen, although how faithful to real-world events it’ll be is yet to be known.
Here’s the official logline for the series:
GRISELDA chronicles the real life of savvy and ambitious Colombian business woman, Griselda Blanco, who created one of the most profitable cartels in history. A devoted mother, Blanco’s lethal blend of charm and unsuspecting savagery helped her expertly navigate between family and business leading her to become widely known as the “Black Widow”.
The Independent put together an excellent primer for the series running through the drug queen’s reign throughout the 70s, 80s, and up to her eventual demise in 2012.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen Griselda hit our screens. Catherine Zeta-Jones played the character in the TV movie Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story back in 2018.
Who is in the cast of Netflix’s Griselda?
Sofia Vergara was the first name attached to the project who is playing the lead role of Griselda Blanco herself.
In January 2022, ahead of the camera’s rolling, 12 names were added to the cast, including:
- Alberto Guerra (Narcos: Mexico) as Dario
- Vanessa Ferlito as Isabel
- Alberto Ammann (Narcos) as Alberto Bravo
- Christian Tappan (The Great Heist) as Arturo
- Diego Trujillo (Metastasis) as German Panesso
- Paulina Davila (Luis Miguel) as Carmen
- Gabriel Sloyer (Narcos) as Diaz
- Juliana Aidén Martinez as June
- Martin Rodriguez (Detrás de la verdad) as Rivi
- José Zúñiga (American Crime Story: Versace) as Amilcar
- Maximiliano Hernández (The Americans) as Papo Mejia
- Julieth Restrepo as Marta Ochoa
Since that first drop of info, we also know of more names attached to the project, including:
- Jose Velazquez (The Wilds) as Uber Trujillo Blanco
- Martín Fajardo (Now and Then) as Ozzy Trujillo Blanco
- Tony Graham (Vice) as Armando
- Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Supernatural) as Jon Roberts a noted drug trafficker and government informant.
- Alejandro Barrios (Queen of the South) as Horatio
- Evan Shafran as Congressman Robin Wilson
- Goya Robles as Ricardo Morales Navarrete aka Monkey Morales
- Wilmer Calderon as Johnny
- Joe Finfera as Lawyer
- Jared Farid Ward as Anchor
- Nicole Alicia Xavier as VIP Waitress
- Ryan de Quintal as Hank Rover Martin
- Andrea Sevilla as Dario’s Mom
- Greg Kriek as Journalist
- Matthew Bellows as Bob Palombo
- Mario Perez as Diego
- Alejandro Barrios as Horatio
- Kayla Eva as Frida
- Diego Trujillo as German Panesso
IMDb currently reports that the cast for Griselda is over 70 names in total.
Billboard reports that Karol G, the Colombian singer, will make her acting debut in the Griselda series. She’ll be playing the role of Carla described as one of Griselda’s mules.
You can find an expanded version of the Griselda cast list here.
How many episodes will there be?
The limited series will consist of six 50-minute episodes.
Where is Griselda in production? Where is Griselda filmed?
According to multiple production listings, filming began on January 24th, 2022, and was originally scheduled to wrap on June 30th, 2022.
The show was filmed under the working title of “Emerald,” which can be seen on various directors’ chairs throughout the show’s production.
The series is being filmed in two notable locations with some of the filming taking place in Los Angeles, California, and the other parts filmed in Miami, Florida. We’re told that the production first began filming in Los Angeles in the week beginning January 24th.
We’re told that location scouts were seen in early November 2021 looking for locations in Long Beach, CA.
The DailyMail snapped multiple pictures of Sofia Vergara filming in LA in early February 2022. The newspaper notes, “The 49-year-old actress donned a green jumpsuit with red highlights on the set of the production,”
JustJared similarly got some exclusive pics of Sofia Vergara filming the upcoming series where she’s seemingly chasing one of her co-stars with a bat.
Numerous people spotted that Netflix was taking over the former Club Ripples for filming in Long Beach. Some even were hopeful that the restaurant was getting a revival of sorts. Of course, just Netflix had temporarily transformed the building into “El Floridita.”
LBIZE states that:
“Filming has been non-stop since Feb. 22, when trailers, portable bathrooms, an array of classic cars given the story’s 1970s and ’80s timeline, and plenty of power generators took over the beach lot directly across from the Floridita set.”
Various pictures were posted by the showrunner, Ingrid Encajeda, on Instagram throughout the production, which is well worth looking through.
Filming wrapped on Griselda on July 2nd, 2022, according to the showrunner, who posted on Instagram to say that it was the last day of shooting, adding the hashtags Griselda, set life, and can’t believe it’s over.
Vergara also posted to say that filming had wrapped with various pictures saying:
“It’s a wrap! 6 months with the most amazing group of people. Gracias to ALL of you!!The whole cast and crew! It wouldn’t have being the same without all of you.”
When will Griselda be released on Netflix?
An exact release date hast yet to be revealed for Griselda. What we do know is that it’ll be hitting before the end of 2023 (sometime between October and December).
That’s because in May 2023, Netflix included the show in the Fall 2023 series highlight slate listed as a “New Presitage Drama.”
La Jefa is coming. Sofia Vergara transforms in this limited series, inspired by Griselda Blanco, a woman who rose from obscurity to become ‘the Godmother’ of the underworld. Coming soon to Netflix. pic.twitter.com/t1qo2OfhiC
— Con Todo (@contodonetflix) September 12, 2023
Are you looking forward to watching Griselda on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below.