Octavia Spencer has added more star power to her upcoming Netflix series based on the life of Black millionaires Sarah Breedlove better known as Madam C.J. Walker. The project will now feature Tiffany Haddish, Blair Underwood, Carmen Ejogo, Garrett Morris and Kevin Carroll.
The four-part limited series is being described as “the untold, culturally important, and highly relevant story of black hair care pioneer and mogul Madam CJ Walker and how she overcame hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages and family challenges to become America’s first black, self-made female millionaire.” It is inspired by the book, On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter.
According to S&A, Haddish will star as “Lelia,” who is based on Walker’s daughter A’Lelia Walker. Underwood will star as “Charles James Walker,” who is based on Madam C.J.’s third husband Charles Joseph Walker. Morris will star as “Cleophus,” who is based on Walker’s father Owen Breedlove and Carroll will play “Ransom,” a pullman porter whose degrees in law and patents from Columbia University serves him well as a legal advisor to Walker. Ejogo will star as “Addie” and is based on Walker’s real life rival Annie Malone, who accused Walker of stealing her original formula for hair straightening and strengthening.
Janine Sherman Barrois and Elle Johnson are the showrunners, writers and executive producers for the series. Kasi Lemmons will direct and executive produce the pilot. The project is also being produced through LeBron James‘ Springhill Entertainment and ZeroGravity in association with Warner Bros. Television.
RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.