The biopic of gospel legend Mahalia Jackson has yet to start shooting and already there’s great news about the project. According to Hip Hop Wired, the film, starring Fantasia Barrino as Jackson, has been invited to be screened at the famed Cannes Film Festival.
As we previously reported, the movie will be based on Jules Victor Schwerin’s 1993 biography Got to Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel, which recounts the life of the late singer and civil rights activist. Barrino will portray Jackson on her journey from abject poverty in New Orleans to her rise as a global figure in gospel and early supporter of Martin Luther King Jr.
Although the project is still in pre-production stages, it has gotten the greenlight to premiere at Cannes next year.
“They've offered for us to do a screening there,” said executive producer Adrian Taylor. “We can either enter it as competition, or we can have it in the non-competition and premiere it.”
The stipulation is that it has to be edited and ready by April 6 for the festival.
Diahann Carroll and Michael Clark Duncan (The Green Mile) may also portray roles.
The biopic will be mostly shot in New Orleans and Chicago. Production will reportedly begin in October and the film will be ready for public release in late 2012.
(Photo: C. Ross/PictureGroup)