After nearly a decade, Kate Del Castillo will reprise her role as Teresa Mendoza in the return of the Narco drama La Reina del Sur, set to debut in 2019 on Telemundo. The original story, based on the novel of the same by Arturo Perez-Reverte, follows Mendoza’s climb to the top of the male-dominated Narco world that trafficked drugs on a global scale.

Joining Del Castillo in the new season, which shot on location in seven countries, are a mix of returning actors and new multilingual, international talent including Raoul Bova (Under the Tuscan Sun), Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), Paola Nuñez (The Son), Antonio Gil (Quantum of Solace), and legendary novela actor Humberto Zurita.

The series will pick up eight years after the events of the finale where audiences learned that Mendoza was pregnant and unsure of her future. When La Reina returns, audiences learn she’s disappeared into the U.S. Federal Witness Protection Program and is currently living in Italy under the name of Maria Dantes with her daughter Sofia (Isabella Sierra).

“When I shot my first scene back as Teresa Mendoza, I was so nervous,” Del Castillo told Deadline. “I didn’t know whether I’d be able to embody this beautiful character again that so many people love. Playing Teresa the first time around was groundbreaking for my career and she means a lot to me. So it was tough for me to agree to bring her back after all this years because I didn’t want to mess with the success of the original.

It was only after Perez-Reverte and our writer Roberto Stopello who developed the script, were totally in sync with this new storyline and shared their excitement with me that I knew that this was how to bring her back. I’ve always carried Teresa in my heart and I hope fans embrace her again too.”

Telemundo

Bova will co-star as Mendoza’s love interest Francesco “Lupo” Belmondo, a tall and handsome, ex-military operative and mercenary who speaks many languages yet is a man of few words. He will perfect his grasp of the Spanish language with help from Mendoza’s daughter.

“Raoul’s character is a very interesting one to follow because he will play multiple characters within the series,” returning Executive Producer Martha Godoy explained. “He will transform in front of audiences and they’ll never know whether he’s truly who he says he is. Is he really trying to help or does he have something more sinister planned?

[Lupo] is a multifaceted character played excellently by Raul. The character lends himself to allow the writers to play with spectators and Teresa throughout his evolution in season two.”

Roberts will guest star as DEA boss Erick Sheldon, confidant of the United States president and architect of a secret operation to help Epifanio Vargas (Zurita) win the Mexican presidency.

Telemundo

Nuñez’s Manuela is described as a chameleon who will remind audiences of Patty O’Farrell from season one. She’s a DEA agent who speaks multiple languages and is a tech and firearms expert. She secretly helps open the pathways for Epifanio to win the presidency. Manuela lives a double life; Nuñez will also portray a secondary character named Kira that’s fueled by revenge.

“Kira is on a mission to kill,” Nuñez explained. “She wants vengeance and there’s no one that can stop her from achieving it. She’s not an evil person, but she gets so consumed by the death of her sister that she lives just to get justice against her killer. I want audiences to see her humanity and realize that maybe even they would feel the same way if they had gone through something so traumatizing.”

Gil will make his series debut in the role of Oleg Yasikov, who leaves retirement in Moscow due to his loyalty to Teresa. He heads back to the front line to defend his friend when she needs him the most.

Rounding out the cast are Mark Tatcher, Tiago Correa, Eduardo Yánez, Flavio Medina, Patricia Reyes Spíndola, Carmen Navarro, Kika Edgar, Luis Gavasa, Alejandro Calva, Christian Tappan, Cuca Escribano, Eduardo Velasco, Abdelali el Aziz, Lincoln Palomeque, Miguel Angel Blanco, Juan José Arjona, Quique Sanmartín, Carlos Aguilar, Miguel de Miguel, Luisa Gavasa, Eduardo Santamarina, Aitor Luna, Sara Vidorreta, Agata Clares, Emannuel Orenday, Carmen Flores Sandoval, Maria Camila Girald, Alex Speitzer, Vera Mercado, Norma Angélica as Morgana, Eduardo Pérez, Pol Monem, Dmitry Anisimov, Aroha Hafez, Jesús Castro, Anna Ciochetti, and Roberto Abraham Wohlmutha.

Telemundo credits the huge success of La Reina del Sur for launching the network’s Super Series that changed the Spanish-language novela format to include multiple seasons. The original also spawned the successful USA Network’s English-language remake Queen of the South, which has been renewed for a fourth season. Additionally, del Castillo has the Spanish-language Netflix drama Ingobernable, which is heading into its second season, and starred in the Netflix docu series The Day I Met El Chapo, about her encounter with the Mexican drug lord.

“The return of Kate del Castillo and La Reina del Sur to Telemundo is absolutely an event,” said Marcos Santana, President of Telemundo Global Studios. “In the nine years since its debut, the impact of this hard hitting drama is still being felt today. Kate’s star has risen even higher since the series’ debut and having her back on board in her most iconic role is just the beginning. We are confident that its combination of international talent, an emotionally compelling and action-packed narrative, and the heightened production values of this global production all add up to a must-see entertainment experience for all audiences.”

Season two of La Reina is a co-production between Telemundo Global Studio and Netflix. It’s already the most expensive large format production shot in Latin America.