Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

DEADLINE is reporting that Tim Story is teaming up with Zero Gravity Management for a new HBO film about the life and times of Harlem mobster and numbers runner Stephanie St. Clair.

ca.1930 — Portrait of Mme. Stephanie St. Claire, 1930. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

The film will be based on the book, The World of Stephanie St. Clair: An Entrepreneur, Race Woman and Outlaw in the Early Twentieth Century Harlem by Shirley Stewart.

St. Clair, better known as Madame Queenie, was one of the most fascinating women of her time. She was a Caribbean-born immigrant that came to the U.S. with nothing and later built a criminal empire that featured a lottery system called, The Policy Bank. She was also an activist that spoke out about voting rights for African Americans and police brutality.

I remember seeing legendary TV and film actress—Cicely Tyson—portray her in the 90s hit film, “Hoodlum” and thought she was fabulous  and fierce. I later caught the TV One “Crime Files” episode on her life that gave me a deeper understanding of who she was and fell more in love with her persona. Last year, we reported that pop music icon Janet Jackson was teaming up with Tony-winning Broadway director Kenny Leon for a Lifetime movie about her.

I always thought St. Clair’s life would make a great television movie or big screen film. It definitely has all the elements needed for a great drama – money, sex, mystery and murder.

RC will definitely keep you posted as this story continues to develop.

Click here to watch TV One’s “Crime Files” episode on Stephanie St. Clair!

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