Angela Bassett to play Coretta Scott King to Mary J. Blige’s Dr. Betty Shabazz in Lifetime film
Angela Bassett to play Coretta Scott King, Mary J. Blige will be Dr. Betty Shabazz in Lifetime film
Posted by Wilson Morales
August 23, 2012
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Angela Bassett and Ruby Dee are heading to Lifetime.
The duo has joined the cast of the female-skewing cable network’s TV movie Betty and Coretta, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
The telepic, first announced during the network’s upfront presentation in May, tells the dual stories of Coretta Scott King and Dr. Betty Shabazz as they carry on as single mothers following the assassinations of their husbands, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
Bassett will play King opposite Mary J. Blige, who co-stars as Shabazz in the effort previously known as Parallel Lives. Dee will appear onscreen as a historical witness to narrate the duo’s story as someone familiar with the events of both their lives. Betty and Coretta remains a working title for the project.
Larry Stanitsky, Blige, Jaja Johnson and Polly Anthony are on board to executive produce the project, with Shem Bitterman and Ron Hutchinson attached to pen the project; Yves Simoneau will direct.
Bassett, who starred in Fox’s failed spy drama pilot Rogue, picked up an Image Award for her turn as Shabazz in the 1992 feature Malcolm X. She also played Shabazz in Mario Van Peebles’ 1995 film Panther. Other credits include her Oscar-nominated role as Tina Turner in 1994′s What’s Love Got to Do With It, Rosa Parks in The Rosa Parks Story, as well as Green Lantern and Akeelah and the Bee. She’s repped by Gersh, Lighthouse and Fox Rothschild.
Civil rights activist Dee, meanwhile, is best known for A Raisin in the Sun and Roots, for which she took home an Emmy for her performance. She’s repped by Artists Agency.
Blige was recently in the musical film Rock of Ages, and was also slated to play Nina Simone in a film until the role was given to Zoe Saldana.
Production on Betty and Coretta begins in September; an airdate has not yet been determined.