A new Mahalia Jackson biopic is in the early stages of development and is not to be confused with the film directed by Euzhan Palcy, starring Fantasia Barrino, according to Shadow and Act.
This Mahalia Jackson project will be directed by Vaun Monroe, a screenwriter/director and college professor at Columbia College in Chicago, and Chicago filmmaker Ruth L. Ratny, for Joyful Noise, LLC.
According to SaA, the Mahalia Jackson biopic will be based on her seminal biography, “Just Mahalia, Baby,” which was authored by close friend, Laurraine Goreau, who had access to a lifetime of Mahalia memorabilia. Goreau’s book is the source of most of the information publicly available about the gospel diva’s life and music.
The picture will depict Mahalia’s rise to become the world’s greatest gospel singer through faith, from her “scrubwoman’s knees.” Jackson is famous for taking gospel out of churches and throughout the world, as well as becoming the first gospel singer to perform at Carnegie Hall.
The filmmakers are hoping to raise $20 million in funding to make a film that they believe Jackson deserves, and say that a small percentage of the budget has already been raised.
The film will be shot in Chicago and no expected release date has been reported at this time.