For 20 years, Jill Scott has been able to transcend many genres, from soul to opera to jazz. The Grammy winner will take her vocal strengths to the world of gospel when she brings the story of Mahalia Jackson to the big screen.
According to Deadline, Scott has signed on for Mahalia!, a biography based on the novel Mahalia Jackson by Darlene Donloe. The anticipated film, which does not yet have a release date, will be executive produced by Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere (Deep Blue Sea, The Cookout) and Holly Carter (The Clarks Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel). Richard Hocutt, Mark Gould, and Tricia Woodgett have been tapped as the film’s screenwriters.
Mahalia! will grant Scott an opportunity to flaunt the range of her voice, as complete access to Jackson’s entire music catalog has been acquired. Her hits include “Amazing Grace,” “Move On Up a Little Higher,” “How I Got Over” and many more.
Hailed as the Queen of Gospel, Jackson, a true barrier-breaker and civil rights activist in the ‘60s, was the first gospel singer to perform at Carnegie Hall. She died in 1972 at age 60.
Scott is sure to do the role justice, as her acting resumé speaks for itself. She has starred in films such as Why Did I Get Married?, Get on Up, Steel Magnolias, and most recently, Black Lightning.
In July, Scott celebrated the 20th anniversary of her debut album Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds, Vol. 1. Rated R&B revisited the masterpiece with an in-depth editorial.