"They could draw inspiration from Griselda Blanco," reads a post on GTA Forums dated April 13, 2016. Published to the abiding 'Female Protagonist?' topic within the enduring and ever-growing GTA 6 corner of the website, 500 comments sit beneath the suggestion; the majority of which ponder how the next entry of the Grand Theft Auto series might handle a female lead, and how the one-time 'Godmother' of Miami's cocaine-driven underworld could serve as the perfect template.
Griselda Blanco's real-life story is told throughout the Cocaine Cowboys documentary series (2006-2021), however speculative comparisons between GTA 6 protagonist Lucia and the late Colombian drug lord have skyrocketed in the wake of this year's titular Netflix drama, 'Griselda', starring Sofia Vergara. Having just finished the six-part miniseries myself, and having watched all three Cocaine Cowboys documentaries, I'm now fully on board with the speculation, and would love to see Lucia's character at least draw from the real-world narcotics queenpin's ill-gotten, and ultimately ill-fated, path of hedonism and destruction.
Welcome to Miami
How much more can we wring from the 91 seconds we've (officially) seen of GTA 6 so far? That's a fair question, but it's also one both myself and the wider Grand Theft Auto community are in no convincingly realistic position to answer. Even supposing that Tom Petty-singing, beachfront-filling, crime-committing blur of in-engine footage from last December wound up being the only GTA 6 trailer this side of release, I'd still be speculating with the best of them about what everything means right up until launch. I've said this a million times before, but the hype and hysteria that follows that first official Grand Theft Auto showing is a huge part of the pre-launch excitement for me, where we get the tiniest of peeks at what's ahead and can likewise hypothesize on everything and anything that could and/or should feature at the end of the line.
Lucia's story arc fits firmly into that bracket at present, with so many theories having been touted about the hows and whys of her incarceration, her life of crime on the road, and her mysterious relationship with her as-yet (officially) unnamed male co-star. Some pockets of the internet believe the trailer is on a Scorsese-esque timeline, wherein the scenes inside the office of Lucia's probation officer are present day, whereas everything else is in the past; while others have suggested Lucia's unnamed male friend is an undercover cop who's waiting for the right time to pounce. I'm less fussed about the logistics of all of that personally, but am definitely intrigued by the specifics that've led Lucia to where she is now – and, similarly, the comparisons that can be made between these scant glimpses of GTA 6 in motion and the recent dramatized version of Griselda Blanco's tale.
The parallels, after all, are pretty defined. Griselda has a shady past and starts off on the run, for example. She winds up in Miami. She gets involved with some pretty unscrupulous drug movers. She works closely with her partner(s). She sells a lot of said drugs, and then forms her own trans-continental narcotics network, killing a lot of people in the process, and committing a lot of federal-level crimes in turn. All of this eventually catches up with her when she's jailed and, that's right, winds up sat opposite her parole officer. Despite appearing to dodge her comeuppance on more than one occasion (again, as per Netflix's depiction), the real Griselda Blanco's story didn't end well. The gangster it's alleged even Pablo Escobar was scared of was assassinated in Medellin in 2012 – an event that's explained off-screen in the TV drama.
Not to over-trivialize reality – Griselda Blanco clearly hurt a lot of people in her many years of criminal activity – but having Lucia's GTA 6 (mis)adventure framed in this way could work really well. We're too often forced to root for the antiheroes in Grand Theft Auto games, but something a little darker, a little more unnerving, and a little less likeable could really push GTA 6 in narrative terms. The original Vice City, after all, was about growing Tommy Vercetti's illicit empire, a genre-typical rags-to-riches tale in the vein of Scarface. Doing something similar in GTA 6 in the sinister shadow of Griselda Blanco, tracking the rise and fall of one of the most infamous drug lords in history who also happens to be a woman – something obviously lacking in the pantheon of past GTA games – could be the perfect cocktail.
In the wake of those first moving pictures, we said: the first GTA 6 trailer was incredible – but what can we expect from the second? Now, I'm desperate for something story-focused.
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