Angela Bassett to Play Coretta Scott King in Biopic Betty & Coretta

Mary J. Blige to play Malcolm X's wife Betty Shabazz.

Posted: 08/28/2012 09:00 AM EDT
Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett continues her run of playing strong women by signing on to Betty & Coretta, Lifetime's television biopic of civil rights leaders Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King. Bassett will play King to Mary J. Blige's Shabazz. 

The film will follow the two women as single mothers in the aftermath of the assassinations of their husbands, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Ruby Dee will appear onscreen as a "historical witness" to narrate the story, "as someone familiar with the events of both their lives," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Blige, who recently passed up the chance to play Nina Simone (the part went to Zoe Saldana), will also produce the film. Production begins before the end of the year. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.

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(Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images)