Shadow And Act has learned that Wood Harris is actually NOT playing Malcolm X in the upcoming Lifetime original movie project previously Betty And Coretta, which stars Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige and Malik Yoba, as Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz and Martin Luther King Jr. respectively.
The film centers on the relationship between Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King – specifically, 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.
About a month ago, Wood Harris said in various interviews, while promoting his Dredd 3D, which he has a part in, that he had was set up to play Malcolm X in the movie, which is currently shooting in Canada. But we've learned, via his agents, that the role has actually gone to Canadian actor Lindsay Owen Pierre (above, center).
Pierre's resume is relatively short, full of most TV work, here in the USA as well as in Canada; this will likely be his highest profile role to date.
Worth noting, both Pierre and Harris are listed on the project's IMDB page as Malcolm X. But Pierre's agents tell me that the role is definitely Pierre's. Obviously, they both can't be playing the same character, unless this isn't the kind of project we think it is. We reached out to Lifetime, but no comments yet.
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 has already begun, with a February air date planned.