Terence Winter is back in business with HBO. The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and Vinyl alum has been tapped to write and executive produce the high-profile HBO film about notorious drug lord Griselda Blanco to be played by Jennifer Lopez. Winter alluded to his new gig for the pay cable network at the Writers Guild Foundation event earlier this week. “I’m still working with HBO and working on something for them,” he said.
The HBO film, now in development, focuses on the rise and fall of Blanco, the drug lord known as “The Cocaine Godmother” who revolutionized the U.S. drug trade during the 1970s and ’80s and became the most powerful female cartel member of all time.
The film takes Winter back to the 1970s, where his most recent HBO series, Vinyl, was set. Winter co-created the rock ‘n’ roll drama and served as executive producer/showrunner on its first season before the network made a change, bringing in a new showrunner for Season 2 which subsequently was scrapped.
“We have enjoyed a longtime partnership with Terry Winter at HBO on projects from The Sopranos to Boardwalk Empire to Vinyl, and we look forward to our next collaboration with him,” HBO said in its statement on Winter’s Vinyl exit.
Indeed, HBO had been Emmy winner Winter’s TV home for more than two decades. He emerged as one of the premium cable network’s top writer-producers, first on The Sopranos, where he rose to executive producer, then on Boardwalk Empire, which he created and ran for its entire span, working alongside Martin Scorsese, and then on Vinyl, another collaboration with Scorsese. The two also collaborated on The Wolf of Wall Street, which earned both Oscar nominations. The Griselda Blanco movie marks a return to films for Winter who has several other biopics in the works, including writing the Andy Warhol biopic starring Jared Leto and an untitled Mike Tyson biopic starring Jamie Foxx and producing the LeBron James biopic alongside James, his manager Maverick Carter and Rachel Winter. Winter also has signed on to do a polish of Jonathan Herman’s latest draft of Universal’s new Scarface.
Lopez executive produces the Griselda Blanco HBO movie with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas via Nuyorican Productions. Benny Medina also will executive produce with Julie Yorn and Rick Yorn for LBI Entertainment. Alex Pettyfer, Nuyorican Productions’ Priscilla Porianda and LBI Entertainment’s Patrick Walmsley will co-executive produce.
As for what else Winter might want to do in the future, “I think some type of short anthology show would be really interesting to do or maybe a comedic anthology,” he said at the WGA event. “I know other people who are working of stuff like this; that’s interesting to me. I keep going back to the idea of doing something autobiographical, but I’m a little too close to my own life to step away and see it as a story; maybe it is.”
Winter is repped by CAA.