By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, email@example.com
Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer is teaming up with NBA superstar and world champion LeBron James to bring the mythic life of Madame C.J. Walker to the small screen via Netflix.
According to Variety, Spencer will star in an eight-episode series for Netflix, based on the book On Our Ground by A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, who will serve as a consultant on the project.
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (pictured) and three-time NBA champion LeBron James have teamed up to produce a Netflix series on the life of Madame C.J. Walker, America’s first female self-made millionaire. Spencer will star in the lead role. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Netflix made the announcement during the Television Critics Association press tour event on July 29. Variety first announced last August that the limited series is executive produced by Spencer and James, a three-time NBA champion and four-time NBA MVP, who is also executive producer of the STARZ situation comedy, “Survivor’s Remorse.”
Walker, the first woman self-made millionaire in the United States, was the daughter of slaves (she was the first to be born free in her family in 1867). A philanthropist and political activist, Walker built her empire after developing a line of hair care products for Black women. Yet, before she amassed her wealth Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was orphaned at age seven, married by age 14 and widowed at 20. She worked for many years as a domestic earning about $1.50 a week.
Maverick Carter, co-founder of James’ company, SpingHill Entertainment, will also executive produce the Walker story for Netflix.
“It’s so exciting for all of us to keep building SpringHill, see it mature, and continue to find its voice,” Carter told Variety. “We are really focused on growing with authenticity and substance…Partnering with Octavia to tell the story of Madame C.J. Walker is the ideal first project for SpingHill to take an important step into scripted drama.”