Riding high off of this year’s release of “The Clark Sisters” biopic, Lifetime is following it up with a new film about another gospel great, Mahalia Jackson.
And the film’s star has already been cast.
Danielle Brooks, known for her role as Taystee in “Orange Is The New Black” and later for her role as Sophia in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple, has been tapped to portray this gospel legend.
According to Shadow and Act, the project will be produced under Robin Roberts’ production company, Rock’n Robin Productions, and will be directed by Kenny Leon, who boasts productions like The Wiz Live! Hairspray Live! and American Son on his resume.
The official description for the film reads as follows.
“Born in New Orleans, Mahalia began singing at an early age and went on to become one of the most revered gospel figures in U.S. history, melding her music with the civil rights movement. Her recording of the song “Move on Up a Little Higher” sold millions of copies, skyrocketing her to international fame and gave her the opportunity to perform at diverse settings including in front of a racially integrated audience at the prestigious Carnegie Hall and at John F. Kennedy’s inaugural ball. An active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, Jackson sang at numerous rallies, including the March on Washington in 1963 alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in hopes that her music would encourage and inspire racial equality.”
Tanya Lopez, a Lifetime executive said, “Having had the privilege of working with Kenny on Steel Magnolias and Robin Roberts on Stolen by my Mother, I am ecstatic to have them join forces to work together on this special project. Adding Danielle Brooks as Mahalia is icing on the cake. This team is committed in celebrating the legacy of Mahalia and reintroducing her to a world that needs her spirit more than ever.”