Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks will play gospel music icon Mahalia Jackson in a new biopic for Lifetime.
Robin Roberts will be producing the film. The movie, Robin Roberts Presents: The Mahalia Jackson Story, is the first in a four-film deal with Lifetime.
The Mahalia Jackson Story will trace the life and career of the iconic gospel singer and civil rights activist. Jackson sold millions of records and was the first gospel singer to perform at Carnegie Hall. She also sang at John F. Kennedy's inaugural ball in 1961 and the March on Washington in 1963.
Back in April, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel biopic drew the biggest same-day audience for a Lifetime movie in four years. It drew 2.7 million viewers.
Tony Award winner and Emmy nominee Kenny Leon (American Son, Hairspray Live, Lifetime's Steel Magnolias) will direct The Mahalia Jackson Story. Brooks and Leon had previously worked together in the play, Much Ado About Nothing, last year at Shakespeare in the Park in New York.