Tyler Perry has tapped Jurnee Smollett to star in Lionsgate’s “The Marriage Counselor.”
Pic is based on Perry’s 10th play, which opened in 2008. Smollett will play Judith, a newlywed marriage counselor who gives great relationship advice but finds it difficult to address issues in her own marriage.
Perry and partners Ozzie Areu and Paul Hall are producing the pic, which starts production next week in Atlanta.
Over the past six years, Perry’s 11 films for Lions-gate have grossed nearly $600 million at the North American box office, and his DVDs have sold more than 40 million units. He’s expected to deliver at least two more “Madea” movies under the first-look pact he extended in March.
Smollett recently starred on NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” and CBS’ “The Defenders
.” Thesp also received the NAACP’s best actress award for her perf in Denzel Washington’s “The Great Debaters.”
Smollett is repped by ICM, manager Jon Leshay at Storefront Entertainment and attorney Darrell Miller.