Jill Scott is set to portray Mahalia Jackson in a new forthcoming biopic, Billboard reports.
The movie entitled Mahalia! is based on the novel written by Darline Donloe. The production team for the biopic has secured the rights to Jackson’s entire catalog, including “How I Got Over,” “His Eyes Are on the Sparrow,” “Move On Up a Little Higher,” “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”
Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, and Latifah’s longtime partner Shakim Compere, and The Clark Sisters’ Holly Carter, are executive producing the project.
“This is such an incredibly important story to tell and we’re thrilled to work with Jamie on the project. 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,” Latifah said of the forthcoming film.
“I am beyond grateful to be able to partner with Latifah and Shakim again and equally excited that Jamie has joined the team. 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 Godsend and will be absolute perfection in the lead role,” Carter said of the project.
Scott stars in the film after having starred in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married, Tate Taylor’s Get On Up, BET’s The First Wives Club, and HBO’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. She plays Jackson in Mahalia!, highlighting how Jackson became one of the most successful entertainers globally. According to the producers of the film, Jackson was known as the mentor of Aretha Franklin and is credited with inspiring Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
News of the movie comes just days after word of another Mahalia Jackson biopic in the works at Lifetime with Robin Roberts. The movie is entitled Robin Roberts Presents: The Mahalia Jackson Story. That film will star Danielle Brooks (Orange Is New The Black) as Jackson.