EXCLUSIVE: We are hearing that Primetime Emmy-winning The Handmaid Tale’s director Reed Morano is in talks to helm the Jennifer Lopez feature The Godmother at STXfilms in which The Hustlers star plays real-life notorious Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco aka “The Godmother”.
Oscar-winning The Departed screenwriter William Monahan is also in talks to do a rewrite of the first draft that was penned by Terry Winter and Regina Corrado.
The project was set up at STX last July where Lopez made her biggest live-action pic opening of all-time, Hustlers, with $33.1M at the domestic B.O. The movie went onto gross $158M at the global box office and in Deadline’s recent profit series netted close to $50M after all ancillaries. Hustlers ranks as STX’s second highest-grossing movie worldwide at $157.5M, trailing only Bad Moms ($183.9M). The Godmother reps Lopez’s third feature at STX; her first being the 2018 $72M-global grossing romantic comedy Second Act.
The Lopez-fronted The Godmother follows the ups and downs of Blanco, who outsmarted and outhustled the men around her to rise from an impoverished childhood in Colombia to become one of the world’s biggest drug lords. She reportedly was worth more than $2 billion, and was a key figurehead in Miami’s bloody Cocaine Cowboy Wars.
Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina, as well as Julie Yorn are producing. Winter, Alex Pettyfer, Alex Brown and Rick Yorn are EPs.
Morano, repped by CAA and LBI Management, directed such movies as the Olivia Wilde drama production Meadowland which made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015, and the Blake Lively Paramount/EON spy feature The Rhythm Section which is available on digital and hits DVD on April 28. Morano won a DGA awards for her work on Hulu/MGM’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and received the Sundance special jury prize for her 2018 feature I Think We’re Alone Now.
Monahan, also repped by CAA and LBI, wrote such pics as 2014’s The Gambler, Edge of Darkness, Body of Lies, and Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven.
Morano and Monahan are also teaming on the Zoe Saldana feature Sabaya, about the unlikely circumstances that made possible a 2015 U.S. Special Forces raid that killed a top ISIS leader and started the downfall of the radical Islamic State. Deadline broke the news on that project that Morano is also set to direct and Monahan penned.