Film Based On Life Of “A Raisin in the Sun” Playwright Lorraine Hansberry Happening; Issa Rae And Jaleel White Cast So Far

May 31, 2013  |  

According to Shadow and Act, the grand niece of famous playwright Lorraine Hansberry, Taye Hansberry, is working on a script for a film based on her great-aunt’s remarkable life. Taye will work with actress and writer Numa Perrier on the film, and Taye will play the lead role.

Casting is being done by Will Stewart, the man behind the cast of Scandal, and so far, Awkward Black Girl creator Issa Rae has been cast to play Nina Simone (move over Zoe!), who was a very close friend of Hansberry’s.

Even Jaleel White (yes, Steve Urkel), has been cast to play to play writer James Baldwin, another good friend of Hansberry’s. Production will begin in the fall to tell the story of Lorraine Hansberry’s short but accomplished life. A little background for you: Hansberry was the first African-American to have their written work produced into a Broadway play, and A Raisin in the Sun was based on her childhood, as her family tried to move in an all white neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago and had to deal with the many neighbors who didn’t want them there. After moving to New York, she worked with the likes of Paul Robeson and even W.E.B. DuBois. She died at the age of 34 of pancreatic cancer.

I’m excited about most biopics these days, especially ones based around black folks. But I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of side-eyeing the casting of Jaleel White as one of my favorite authors. But hey, I’m willing to wait and see the finished product before I pass real judgment. And who doesn’t love Issa Rae?

What do you think of Hansberry’s great-niece bringing her life to the big (or small) screen?

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