A biopic based on the life of daytime television talk show host Wendy Williams is coming to a small screen near you. According to Deadline, “The Oval” actress Ciera Payton and “Empire” actor Morocco Omari have been tapped as lead stars in the Lifetime movie “Wendy Williams: The Hot Topic.” Payton and Omari will play the roles of Williams and her ex-husband Kevin Hunter, respectively.
The 56-year-old confirmed the news on her Instagram account on Friday, Sept 4. “Lean in co-hosts, #CieraPayton (The Oval, She’s Gotta Have It) and #MoroccoOmari (P-Valley, Empire) are set as the leads in ‘Wendy Williams: The Hot Topic’ (working title),” the media personality wrote in a lengthy caption.
Williams will also executive produce the authorized biopic, which will give viewers a look at the highs and lows she’s endured throughout her career. Audiences will also get a peek into Williams’ beginnings as an urban radio host and her rise to the host of her own syndicated talk show.
Following the presentation of the film, a feature-length documentary about the former radio host will air afterward. In it, Williams, speaking directly to the camera, will have a candid conversation about the joys and humiliations she has experienced since childhood. The documentary will be set in her apartment in Manhattan, New York.
The biopic will be executive produced by Will Packer and Sheila Ducksworth. Darren Grant, who is behind shows like “The Chi” and “God Friended Me,” will direct from a script written by Leigh Davenport and Scarlett Lacey. Davenport and Lacey are behind shows like “Boomerang” and “The Royals,” respectively. “Wendy Williams: The Hot Topic” is slated to debut in 2021, with production beginning this month.
News of Williams’ biopic and documentary comes after the self-proclaimed “Queen of Media” announced that her self-titled talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show,” will return to daytime television this fall after a long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Williams shared the news on Tuesday, July 21, via Instagram. “The 12th season of WENDY starts SEPT 21!!!” Williams wrote alongside a photo of her eating watermelon at an outdoor restaurant in New York City. She continued, “I can’t wait to get back to all of YOU and to my AMAZING staff and crew!!! I’m sooo excited to bring you silly, funny, glamour and hopefully brighten your day during these crazy times that we’re all living in…even if for just an hour.”
The producer ended her lengthy caption by saying, “I miss you and can’t wait to get back in my purple chair and show you what we did to the set. L💜VE you for watching!”