Music icon Mary J. Blige has landed two additional Lifetime original films based on her music that has helped shape nearly three decades of R&B.
The “Family Affair” singer has cultivated a successful relationship with Lifetime over the years. As a result of this partnership, she starred in her first film, 2013’s “Betty & Coretta,” where she portrayed Dr. Betty Shabazz. Since then, she has worked closely with the network, executive producing the 2020 biopic, “The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel,” along with Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott. Now, her original features will capture the essence of her timeless classic.
The first film, a coming-of-age drama titled “Real Love,” named after her 1992 hit record, will debut on June 10th. It follows a student named Kendra, portrayed by Ajiona Alexus, as she embarks on her post-high school career. As she settles into college life, Kendra will be introduced to her film class partner, Ben, played by BMF’s Da’Vinchi. A romance will soon ensue, teaching both the meaning of true love.
Next up is “Strength of a Woman,” named appropriately after Blige’s 13th studio album. The film jumps 15 years into Kendra and Ben’s future, picking up where “Real Love” leaves off. That movie will follow Kendra in her photography career and a struggling marriage. Ben will then re-emerge, leaving Kendra faced with the realization that she married the wrong man. “Strength of a Woman” will air the following Saturday. Both flicks will be produced under Blige’s Blue Butterfly imprint, which she is immensely proud of.
“My passions for acting and music now include developing diverse stories with music as the backdrop,” the Grammy-award winner stated.
In addition to Blue Butterfly, Front Street Pictures will also assist with production. Sony Pictures Television will distribute both, with Camrus Johnson directing “Real Love” and Shari Lynette Carpenter heading “Strength of a Woman,” Deadline confirms.