Well, it wasn’t too long ago that we informed you about gospel legend Mahalia Jackson‘s biopic in the works. Based on the book Got To Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel, the screenplay is being written by Jim Evering and the film will star singer Fantasia Barrino. Sitting in the director’s chair is Euzhan Palcy (Sugar Cane Alley, A Dry White Season). Thanks to S&A reader Cordell, here’s some updates on the project.
According to Adrian Taylor, executive producer of the project, the film will primarily be shot in New Orleans and Chicago. Also, the producers are in talks with Diahann Carroll and Michael Clark Duncan–among others–to possibly play roles.
A big element in the marketing scheme will be courting the Christian audience although they feel Mahalia’s story will appeal to many easily. “We’re using the same business model for marketing as was used with ‘The Passion of the Christ,'” Taylor said.
Since Euzhan Palcy won’t be available to shoot until October, the plan is to begin production in October and release the film in late 2012.
The film has already received an invite to the Cannes Film Festival. “They’ve offered for us to do a screening there,” Taylor said. “We can either enter it as competition, or we can have it in the non-competition and premiere it, if it’s edited. It’s got to be ready by April 6 for next year’s Cannes.”
So, it looks like this baby has full steam ahead! Stay tuned…