*“Orange Is the New Black” alum Danielle Brooks has been tapped by Lifetime to star as gospel legend and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson.
The project is the next original film from “Robin Roberts Presents” and will be directed by Kenny Leon, who previously helmed the all-Black remake of “Steel Magnolias” for the network, per TheWrap.
“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,” said Tanya Lopez, EVP of Movies, Limited Series & Original Movie Acquisitions, Lifetime and LMN. “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.”
Brooks and Leon previously collaborated on the stage production of “Much Ado About Nothing.”
OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Trump Can’t Bring Himself to Praise John Lewis: ‘He Chose Not to Come to My Inauguration’ (Watch)
— Danielle Brooks (@thedanieb) August 3, 2020
Brooks shared the casting news on Twitter, along with the caption “Been manifesting this one for five years and the time has finally come.”
The Mahalia Jackson Story aims to explore Jackson’s journey from a young singer in New Orleans, Louisiana, to becoming a revered gospel figure in the U.S. and her music becoming integral during the civil rights movement. A civil rights activist, Jackson performed at several rallies, including the 1963’s March on Washington alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in “hopes that her music would encourage and inspire racial equality,” according to Lifetime’s synopsis of the film.
The film is the first project from Robin Roberts’ four-film deal with Lifetime.
“The Mahalia Jackson Story” is produced by Rock’n Robin Productions and Lincoln Square Productions. Roberts and Linda Berman are executive producers.