Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of Bessie

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22 Years in the Making

We hear stories over and over again about how long it took a certain film to get made – three years, five, maybe 10. Bessie took a whopping 22 years to get from script to film. A first draft of the script was written by Horton Foote. The script was then attached to Columbia Pictures, but due to financial hardship, the film never came to fruition. Foote purchased his script back from Columbia, and producers suggested Queen Latifah for the role of Bessie Smith, but financing never came through. After Foote’s passing, his daughter took the script back to the producers, who eventually got HBO to green light the project — 22 years later.

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