LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 26: Recording artist/actress Queen Latifah performs onstage during the 18th annual Keep Memory Alive 'Power of Love Gala' benefit for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health honoring Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 26, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive)
Queen Latifah
is set to star in HBO’s Bessie Smith biopic, and she’s bringing along Mo’Nique and a “Scandal”-ous diva.

Deadline reports that the film, dubbed “Bessie,” will have Mo’Nique playing blues legend Ma Rainey, with Khandi Alexander (“Scandal,” “Treme”) playing Latifah’s big sister.

The movie follows Latifah’s real-life character, who “overcame her tempestuous personal life to become one of the most acclaimed performing and recording artists of the 1920s and ‘30s, earning her the nickname Empress of the Blues,” according to Deadline.

With her first film since 2009, Mo’Nique has returned this year in “Blackbird,” which has yet to see a wide release.

Singer-actress Latifah has also been occupied hosting her successful daytime series, which has been renewed for a second year. She will produce “Bessie” through her Flavor Unit shingle as well.

HBO has done well in the original movie game lately, including “Game Change” and the highly-anticipated AIDS drama “The Normal Heart,” which bows on Sunday.

Are you excited for Queen Latifah’s new project? Sound off in the comments!


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