*Paula Patton has optioned film and television rights to Sherry Jones’ biographical novel “Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.”
The actress will reportedly star in and produce an adaptation about the jazz age icon from St. Louis who become a star in Europe. Baker also was an actress, dancer, Civil Rights activist, and member of the French Resistance during WWII, per Billboard.
“Josephine Baker had an incredible life and was a remarkable woman,” Patton in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s been a childhood dream of mine to play such an inspirational person and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to tell her story.”
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Paula Patton (@PaulaPattonXO) has optioned the film and television rights to ‘Josephine Baker’s Last Dance’, a novel by Sherry Jones, with the aim of starring in and producing an adaptation https://t.co/r5rLEuz7R2
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) December 16, 2019
Jones’ biographical novel was published in December 2018 by Simon & Schuster imprint Gallery Books.
When asked back in March why was it important for her to write “Last Dance,” Jones explained:
I hope this book adds to the conversation that we are currently having in America about race.
Josephine Baker, like the protagonists of all my novels, was a woman who found her inner power and used it to make a positive difference in the world. Raised in poverty and abuse, she became a star of the stage and screen at a young age before dedicating her life to fighting racism. She worked as a spy for the French Resistance during World War II, risking her life many times, and became an outspoken anti-segregationist in the United States during her tour of the country in 1951, before the civil rights movement even began. She succeeded in getting many whites-only theaters, nightclubs, hotels, restaurants, and other venues to integrate. I found her inspirational, and knew that others would, too.
A search for writers to adapt the material for Patton’s project is underway.