Queen Latifah will be playing Bessie Smith in a biopic, and Dee Rees, director of the movie Pariah, is slated to write and direct the film, which will air on HBO.

From Shadow and Act:

[T]he project is still very much in development, with Dee Rees (Pariah) writing and directing the film, which will of course star Latifah, who has been quite busy lately, in front of and behind the camera, with her own day-time talk show, as well as producing a number of projects for the big and small screens.

HBOThe Zanuck CompanyShelby Stone Productions and Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment are all listed as backers of the project, with a mid-June 2014 production start date in Atlanta eyed.

Casting is underway to fill other roles, including that of Ma Rainey, the “Mother Of The Blues.”

Read more at Shadow and Act

Bessie Smith is considered to be the most popular female Blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era, and gained the nickname of “The Empress of Blues.”

Thoughts on the biopic?

Is it in good hands with Queen Latifah taking on the lead role?

 Sound off below!