The last time Taraji P. Henson played a character named Queenie, she received an Oscar nod for her portrayal. The “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” nominee is now in talks to lead and produce “Queenie” for BET Studios. The potential series tells the true story of Stephanie St. Clair AKA “Queenie,” AKA the “Godmother of Harlem.” Variety broke the news.
Based on Shirley Stewart’s 2014 book “The World of Stephanie St. Clair: An Entrepreneur, Race Woman and Outlaw in the Early Twentieth Century Harlem,” “Queenie” will revisit how, in the 1920s and ’30s, St. Clair was “the most profitable female ‘numbers banker’ in an illegal underworld run by the most vicious and notorious of men.” The series logline continues, “To put it too simply, all she ever wanted was to run and mind her own business. After all, she was a lady. But when a greedy and violent mobster began encroaching on her territory, she stood in defiance, waging a war that changed Harlem, and her life, forever.”
Leigh Davenport (“Run the World,” “Boomerang”) is penning the series.
Henson is under an overall deal with BET Studios. A three-time Emmy nominee for her work on “Empire,” her film credits include “What Men Want” and “Hidden Figures.” Her upcoming slate includes Warner Bros.’ musical adaptation of “The Color Purple” and “Two-Faced,” a high school comedy that’s she’s set to make her feature directorial debut with.