Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett has been cast to play the late Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife, in a film on Lifetime featuring Coretta Scott King and Malcolm X’s wife Betty Shabazz tentatively called “Betty and Coretta.”
Shabazz will be played by R&B songstress Mary J. Blige. The film will focus on their lives after their husbands were assassinated. (Malcolm X in 1965; King in 1968.)
The casting news was broken by The Hollywood Reporter.
A spokeswoman for Lifetime confirmed the news and said the show will be shot in Montreal, starting next month, although it certainly could have been shot in Atlanta given the King connection.
The story said civil rights activist Ruby Dee “will appear onscreen as a historical witness to narrate the duo’s story as someone familiar with the events of both their lives.”
Bassett played Shabazz in the 1992 feature film “Malcolm X” starring Denzel Washington. She was nominated for an Oscar for 1994’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” playing Tina Turner.
An airdate has not been set.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk