Mark Wahlberg Says Jennifer Lopez Chasing Role In 'Cocaine Cowboys'; Film Aiming To Shoot This Summer Or Fall

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by Kevin Jagernauth
January 10, 2012 6:15 PM
7 Comments
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With "Contraband" hitting theaters this weekend, Mark Wahlberg is out doing the rounds with the press, and he's game for talking about anything. And to his credit, he's got a lot to talk about. The actor has a laundry list of projects in the works at any given moment. And one that has been moving in fits and starts for the past little while is "Cocaine Cowboys," but according to Wahlberg, it could be lensing as early as this summer and not only that, a pretty big name is already looking for a role.

Based on Billy Corben's 2006 documentary of the same name, "Cocaine Cowboys" centers on notorious '70s drug dealer Jon Roberts who moved from New York, where he was involved in gangland takeovers of the city's nightclubs, to Miami where he was set up with a powerful drug cartel. 'Cowboys' was previously a project that Leonardo DiCaprio and director Peter Berg had been attached to, and Wahlberg began circling in 2008. The last we heard was nearly a year ago when David O. Russell said he might be directing it. But as Wahlberg and Russell are now on the outs -- the actor told us he is looking for a new director for "The Fighter" sequel -- that won't be happening, but the movie is moving.

Talking on the "Sway in the Morning" Sirius radio show today (via MTV), Wahlberg revealed, "We're waiting on the script. It's going to be sooner rather than later. We're going to shoot that in Miami, hopefully in the summer or the fall." But that's not all.

One of the big roles to be cast in the movie is that of Grisela Blanco, a prominent crime family matriarch integral to the Miami scene of the time and it already has one name going after it. "It's one of those characters that will go down in history. Jennifer Lopez is chasing that [role] like crazy," Wahlberg revealed. "It's the role — if I could play Griselda, I would. That's Academy Award [bait] right there."

Why is it award bait? Apparently the part will require some serious uglying up of whoever takes it on (just take a look at the image above of Griselda from the original documentary), and it will certainly be a major gear shift for Jenny from the block. But as for who will direct, that question is up in the air. Same goes for who is writing the script, which last we heard was getting a pass by "Generation Kill" writer Evan Wright. But that was a while ago, and there's no word on who's been tinkering on it since. Update: ComingSoon reports that Peter Berg ("Friday Night Lights") is now writing the lastest draft.

But with a shoot date looming, it seems to be coming together. Will Lopez get the lead? That will probably depend on if she decides to do another round on "American Idol," but either way looks like "Cocaine Cowboys" is saddling up.

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7 Comments

  • bella woodwent | November 16, 2013 9:36 AMReply

    what are they going to do about Jlo awful nasal voice

  • randall hogue | April 13, 2013 11:53 AMReply

    Is this project dead?

  • Christian | January 11, 2012 6:12 AMReply

    CONFIRMED: Peter Berg is back rewriting Cocaine Cowboys: "Wahlberg certainly has explored a lot of different aspects of the world of crime, and for years, he had been developing a dramatic feature based on Billy Corben's documentary Cocaine Cowboys, which looked at how cocaine became a huge commodity in Miami during the '70s. He was going to do that movie with director Peter Berg but earlier this year, rumors began circulating that Wahlberg might do the movie with his long-time collaborator David O. Russell after the success of The Fighter, but Berg seems to be back in the mix, as we were told he's taking another pass at the script. "We've already had two drafts of the script. Pete Berg is now writing the last draft. I actually just read some pages of it yesterday; it's coming out really good, so we're excited about it. We're doing a story about Jon Roberts and Mickey (Munday) and develop that as a film." (At one point, there was a plan to do a cable show based on the material as well, but in the movie, Wahlberg would be playing Roberts.)" http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=85728

  • QU347 | January 11, 2012 12:50 AMReply

    I would rather have Rosie Perez as Griselda but that' just me b/c she already has an Oscar nom

  • Xavier | January 11, 2012 8:42 AM

    Agreed......plus Jennifer Lopez's last portrayal of someone non-fictional (El Cantante) was horrible. Those interview scenes- yeah, the less said the better. If she does get it, she needs to be subtle, a la Mariah Carey in Precious. But Ms. Lopez strikes me as anything but subtle.

  • Christian | January 10, 2012 6:34 PMReply

    Awesome, I was beginning to get worried that the film wasn't happening! The documentary is insane! I love how Mark Wahlberg is SO dedicated to the projects he produces himself. He is really a passionate filmmaker. But who the hell could direct Mickey Munday (the role Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to play)?

  • eloise | January 10, 2012 6:29 PMReply

    She better give up Idol, this could be great for her, I don't think that I've liked any of her films since Out of sight (except maybe An unfinished life with Redford) and I'll admit she was really good in El cantante too bad the movie was crap.

    I think that I read somewhere that Peter Berg is back in the director chair for that film and he's the one rewriting the script.

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