Queen Latifah to Star In and Produce HBO Biopic of Blues Singer Bessie Smith

Queen Latifah was awarded Favorite New Talk Show Host at the 40th Annual People's Choice Awards Wednesday (Photo: WireImage)
Queen Latifah was awarded Favorite New Talk Show Host at the 40th Annual People’s Choice Awards (Photo: WireImage)

“Pariah’s” Dee Rees will pen the script and direct the telepic for the cable network.

Queen Latifah is heading to HBO.

The rapper, actress, and talk show host will star in and exec produce a Bessie Smith biopic for the premium cable network.

The telepic revolves around iconic blues singer Smith as she overcomes the challenges of her tempestuous personal life to become one of the most acclaimed performers and recording artists of the 1920s and ’30s, to be known forevermore as the “Empress of the Blues.” The film is based on Smith’s life story and Bessie, author Chris Albertson’s biography of the iconic singer.

Pariah’s Dee Rees will pen the script and direct the movie. Latifah will executive produce the HBO Films and Zanuck Co. movie via her Flavor Unit Entertainment banner. Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard Zanuck, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone and Randi Michel will also exec produce. Hallie Foote is on board to co-exec produce and Ron Schmidt will produce.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter
Lesley Goldberg

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