‘Epic Story of Faith’: Gospel Legend Heads to the Big Screen
By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer
The story of Mahalia Jackson, best known as the “Queen of Gospel,” is heading to the big screen in an adaptation of the novel Mahalia Jackson by Darlene Donloe.
The new movie will involve Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, and THE CLARK SISTERS: FIRST LADIES OF GOSPEL’s Holly Carter as executive producers. It will star Jill Scott as Jackson.
Richard Hocutt, Mark Gould and Tricia Woodgett penned the script for the movie, titled MAHALIA!
“I am beyond grateful to be able to partner with Latifah and Shakim again and equally excited that Jamie has joined the team. Much like THE CLARK SISTERS, MAHALIA! is another epic story of faith that is driven by powerful and uplifting music. I believe Ms. Scott was a God-send and will be absolute perfection in the lead role,” said Carter.
Latifah said, “This is such an incredibly important story to tell and we’re thrilled to work with Jamie on the project. Shakim and I are also looking forward to reteaming with our CLARK SISTERS producing partner, Holly Carter, to share Mahalia’s inspiring journey to becoming the Queen of Gospel music.”
MAHALIA! secured the rights to Jackson’s entire musical catalog, Deadline reports, despite another project about Jackson’s life in the works at Lifetime,
This includes hit songs “How I Got Over,” “His Eyes Are on the Sparrow,” “Move on Up a Little Higher,” “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain.”
She grew up in poverty in New Orleans and made it all the way to Carnegie Hall to sing for audiences of presidents, kings, and queens until she died in 1972.
Jackson was credited as the mentor and inspiration behind Aretha Franklin, as well as the inspiration behind Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech, according to Deadline.
Jackson was once described by Harry Belafonte as “the single most powerful Black woman in the United States” because of her presence in American politics and activism.
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