Angela Bassett and Ruby Dee will join Mary J. Blige in the Lifetime original movie project previously titled Parallel Lives, but now has a working title, Betty And Coretta.
It's a project we've been tracking for about a year now, and it looks like it's finally heading into production.
The film will center on the relationship between Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King – specifically, accoring to THR, it'll follow how they continue on as single mothers, after their husbands are assassinated – their husbands being Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
As already reported, Mary J. Blige will play Betty Shabazz (news that was met with much venom when we initially announced it, as I recall), and Angela Bassett will play Coretta Scott King.
Ruby Dee will appear on-screen as a "historical witness" to narrate the story, "as someone familiar with the events of both their lives."
Yves Simoneau, who recently directed a Beauty And The Beast TV-movie for ABC Studios, will direct Betty And Coretta, from a script penned by Shem Bitterman (he last wrote and directed a feature dramedy titled The Job in 2009).
The film will be produced by Blige, as well as Larry Stanitsky, with Jaja Johnson and Polly Anthony executive producing.
Production is set to begin in September; no word yet on when it'll air.
So… Mary J. Blige sharing the same screen with Angela Bassett and Ruby Dee. Huh… This should be interesting. Worth noting, Angela Bassett has played Betty Shabazz on screen in the past… twice. Maybe she can show Mary J. Blige a thing or two.