Jason Kempin/Getty Images for LACMAAward-winning actors Jamie Foxx and Queen Latifah will executive-produce Mahalia!, a new film about the Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson, with Jill Scott in the title role.
According to Deadline, the film will journey through Jackson’s life as she became one of the wealthiest entertainers in the world and the first gospel singer to perform at Carnegie Hall.
The film has also obtained the rights to Jackson’s entire musical catalog, including hits like “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain.”
Jackson is also known for inspiring Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. She was an ardent supporter of the civil rights movement and played a significant role in campaigning for several influential politicians, including President John F. Kennedy.
Mahalia! is based on the novel Mahalia Jackson by Darlene Donloe and reunites Latifah with Shakim Compere and Holly Carter from the successful The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel biopic on Lifetime.
“This is such an incredibly important story to tell, and we’re thrilled to work with Jamie on the project,” Latifah said. “Shakim and I are also looking forward to reteaming with our Clark Sisters producing partner, Holly Carter, to share Mahalia’s inspiring journey to becoming the Queen of Gospel music.”
“I am beyond grateful to be able to partner with Latifah and Shakim again and equally excited that Jamie has joined the team,” notes Carter. “Much like The Clark Sisters, Mahalia! is another epic story of faith that is driven by powerful and uplifting music. I believe Ms. Scott was a God-send and will be absolute perfection in the lead role.”
Jill Scott has starred in Black Lightning, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, BET’s The First Wives Club and more.
By Rachel George
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