Keesha Sharp’s Eartha Kitt project has been officially announced.
The Lethal Weapon star has acquired the rights to the 2013 biography America’s Mistress: The Life and Times of Eartha Kitt. She [and her husband], Brad Sharp, will develop it as a feature film, and she’ll also star as Kitt.
Although this is the first official announcement about the project, Sharp has talked about doing an Eartha Kitt film as far back as 2009.
In a statement to Deadline, who broke the news, Sharp said: “Eartha Kitt was a force in the entertainment industry and an icon who opened doors for so many women, especially women of color during a time when it was not popular in America. Although I may have been compared to her in the past, I am passionate about bringing her story to life because everyone needs to know how incredible she was! People don’t mention her in the same conversation with the icons of Hollywood, but she belongs there. The biggest star at the time, Orson Welles, called her ‘the most exciting woman in the world’ for good reason. Her life was full of complexity, pain, and triumph, and I am thrilled to take on the challenge.”
Kitt, who died in 2008, is one of the most acclaimed Black entertainers of all-time, starring as Catwoman in the 1960s Batman series, appearing in films like Boomerang and singing the classic Christmas song “Santa Baby,” among other things. Despite being blacklisted in the 1970s for making anti-Vietnam War statements at a White House event, she returned to Broadway later in the decade, scooping up multiple Tony nominations. Even late in her career and life, she starred in the film Holes and won awards for her role in The Emperor’s New Groove film and The Emperor’s New School series.
No studio is attached to the project at this time.