Michelle Mitchenor has been tapped to topline BET+’s First Lady Of BMF: The Tonesa Welch Story and Leon, Jess Hilarious and Kellie S. Williams have also been cast.
The Vivica A. Fox-directed film. The film’s script is written by Gabrielle Collins. Judge Greg Mathis and Tressa Azarel Smallwood are executive producing.
The film tells Welch’s life story as a young woman who becomes part of the rising drug underworld in Detroit. She becomes involved with drug kingpin Harry (Truvillion), but tries to control Tonesa’s own talent in the game through violence. Harry eventually goes to jail, leaving Tonesa alone to strike out on her own as she teams up with Terry Flenory (Malonte).
“Welch finally sets the record straight and tells Her-story, the TRUE history of why federal authorities in their indictment labeled Tonesa ‘The First Lady of BMF!'” states the film’s description.
The statement about the film telling Welch’s true story could be taken as a jab against BMF for basing La La Anthony’s character Markisha Taylor on Welch. Fans and Welch herself disparaged the character for her predatory tendencies toward Terry (played on BMF by Da’Vinchi), who was still in high school at the time.