Mary J. Blige is executive producing two new movies for Lifetime based on her best-selling songs — “Real Love” and “Strength of a Woman,” the network announced Thursday.
BMF stars Ajiona Alexus and Da’Vinchi will lead the casts of both films.
Additional cast members include Princess Davis, Austin Anozie, Millan Tesfazgi, Shiraine Haas, Garfield Wilson and Hamza Fouad.
The original movies titled Mary J. Blige’s Real Love and Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman premiere in June, and will portray the highs and lows of young Black love.
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Camrus Johnson directs Real Love from a script written by Sonja Warfield and Rachel Ingram.
Shari Lynette Carpenter directs Strength of a Woman from a script written by Ingram.
The movies are produced by Front Street Pictures and distributed by Sony Pictures Television.
John Davis and Jordan Davis of Davis Entertainment are executive producers. Blige serves as an executive producer through her Blue Butterfly production company. Ashaunna K. Ayars and Q. Nicole Jackson co-produce.
Production is currently underway on the films, which Lifetime revealed in the below behind the scenes video.
Lifetime announced a year ago, it was partnering with Blige to turn her music into movies.
The Grammy-winning singer said at the time, “My passions for acting and music now include developing diverse stories with music as the backdrop.”
Blige has long history with Lifetime, having previously executive produced the network’s top-rated original movie of 2020, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel alongside fellow EPs Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott.
She also played Dr. Betty Shabazz, opposite Angela Bassett in the cable network’s 2013 civil rights biopic Betty & Coretta.
In conjunction with the two new movies, Lifetime has partnered with Take Back The Night Foundation — an international non-profit organization with the mission of ending all forms of sexual violence and to support survivors in their healing journeys.
Mary J. Blige’s Real Love and Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman are slated to premiere on back-to-back Saturdays, June 10 and June 17 at 8p/7c on Lifetime.
Below are the official descriptions for both films.
“Mary J. Blige’s Real Love follows 18-year-old Kendra (Alexus) as she sets off on her own for the first time at an HBCU in North Carolina. Attending on a scholarship, Kendra is determined to focus on school while balancing work study and keeping things professional with Ben (Da’Vinchi), her photo class partner. Despite disapproving parents, financial hardship, and even an unexpected pregnancy, Kendra and Ben find themselves falling hard for each other and ultimately learning the meaning of “Real Love.” Even when Kendra realizes that in order to pursue her dreams, she must leave Ben behind, it’s certain that their story isn’t over.”
“Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman, continues the story of Kendra and Ben by jumping ahead more than 15 years. Now a successful photographer, Kendra finds herself in a failing marriage and must reckon with the decisions she made for the life she thought she wanted. When Ben unexpectedly comes back into her life, she is forced to a crisis point and must dig deep to find the strength to take control of her life and accept the love Ben may be offering again.”
‘BMF’ Stars to Headline Lifetime Films Produced by Mary J. Blige
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