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*Angela Bassett has been cast Coretta Scott King and Mary J. Blige will star as Betty Shabazz in the upcoming Lifetime original movie “Betty and Coretta,” The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.


The telepic, announced as “Parallel Lives” at the May upfronts, tells the dual stories of Coretta Scott King and Dr. Betty Shabazz as they carry on as single mothers following the assassinations of their husbands, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Betty Shabazz (L) and Coretta Scott King

Veteran actress 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. “Betty and Coretta” remains a working title for the project.

Ironically, Bassett, who most recently starred in Fox’s failed spy drama pilot “Rogue,” earned an NAACP Image Award for her turn as Shabazz in the 1992 feature “Malcolm X.”

Production on “Betty and Coretta” begins in September; an airdate has not yet been determined.


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