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The celebrity biopic is one of the most enduring and popular types of films in Hollywood, often garnering the actors and actresses who portray the subject a host of prestigious awards and nominations. That may again be the case, as it has just been announced that a biopic is moving forward about the life of actress Hattie McDaniel.

The Hollywood Reporter was the first to break the news about the forthcoming biopic about the life and career of Gone With the Wind actress Hattie McDaniel, who was the first African American woman to be nominated for, and win, an Academy Award. She won Best Supporting Actress in 1940 for her portrayal of Mammy in the classic film. The details surrounding the film are still in the early stages, however producers and additional source material have been revealed.

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

Producer Alysia Allen has obtained the film rights to Jill Watts’ biography ‘Hattie McDaniel: Black Ambition, White Hollywood’ and will produce with Aaron Magnani. The producers are currently searching for the right screenwriter to adapt the book for the screen.

McDaniel — who was the youngest daughter of freed slaves — began her career as an acclaimed Vaudeville performer and one of the first black women on radio. She appeared in countless 1930s films but is best known for her performance as Mammy in ‘Gone With the Wind,’ for which she won the Oscar. After years of playing stereotypical characters and during a time of near-insurmountable obstacles for black actors, McDaniel is credited for opening Hollywood’s eyes to creating more multidimensional roles for African-Americans.

If Allen’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she is the founder of the popular book club Mocha Girls Read. In addition to the Hattie McDaniel biopic, she is also currently working on the film Away From The Bridge. No casting has been made in the Hattie McDaniel film, but many fans of the beloved actress are campaigning for Octavia Spencer to play her. That actually sounds good to us!


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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.