Josephine Baker was one of the most influential female entertainers of the 20th century.
The remarkable story of the legendary Jazz Age performer and civil rights activist will be the subject of the limited series Josephine. Academy award-nominated Ruth Negga will also executive produce the project written by David Makes Man showrunner Dee Harris-Lawrence, and directed by Emmy-nominated director Millicent Shelton (30 Rock). LeBron James’ production outfit The Springhill Company joins forces with ABC Signature to develop.
Josephine will take a raw and unflinching look at the force of nature that was Josephine Baker, the biggest Black female artist of her time. From international superstar and decorated WWII spy to civil rights activist and flawed mother, Josephine delves into the raw talent, sexual fluidity, struggles, and bold life of the icon. It’s fitting that black women are at the helm of this biopic.
Irish-Ethiopian Negga, known for her starring roles in the film Loving and AMC series Preacher, is repped by ICM Partners, Principal Entertainment, and Markham Froggat, and Irwin. She will soon be seen alongside Tessa Thompson (Creed; Thor: Ragnorok) in Passing a film about two African American women passing for white. She landed a Best Actress nomination for her role as Mildred Loving in the film Loving which was based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, whose relationship caused them to be arrested and thrown out of their home in 1950s Virginia.
Harris-Lawrence’s previous work includes being a co-executive producer on Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., Shots Fired and Star as well as Zoo, the ABC Signature-produced Detroit 1-8-7, and Saving Grace.
Shelton, landed an Emmy nomination for 30 Rock, becoming the first African-American woman to be nominated in the directing for a comedy series category. She regularly directs episodes of the series Black-ish. She has also directed episodes of P-Valley, Insecure, The Walking Dead, Titans, and the Starz comedy pilot Run the World, which was picked up to series. Shelton TV directing work has earned her 10 NAACP Image Award nominations and three wins. She recently signed on to direct Netflix’s feature thriller End of the Road starring Queen Latifah. Shelton is repped by ICM Partners, Rain Management Group, and Del Shaw Moonves.