Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit banner is producing the pic with BET and Royal Ties, the shingle King runs with her sister, Reina King. Reina King is exec producing; Regina King, Queen Latifah and Flavor Unit’s Shakim Compere and Shelby Stone produce along with Roger Bobb.
Actress-scribe Crystal Garrett adapted the 2004 book by ReShonda Tate Billingsley, which revolves around the wayward daughter of a charismatic Houston pastor whose family falls apart over the years while he’s busy building up his church.
King, a TV vet who is a regular on TNT’s “Southland,” and her sister have been shepherding the property for more than three years. It was initially put together as an indie feature before landing at BET earlier this year.
“It’s such a universal story that is very specific to fathers who dedicate their time to doing great things as citizens of the world, but for all the good that they do, their family almost always has to sacrifice,” King told Variety.
Project is in the midst of casting, and lensing is expected to begin next month in Atlanta.
King, repped by ICM and manager John Carrabino, helmed a 2010 musicvid for R&B crooner Jaheim, but “Say Amen” marks her first feature-length directing gig. The long road to getting it before the camera was frustrating at times, but in hindsight, she’s glad it’s happening now with BET.
“I thought I was ready to direct it three years ago but what I’ve learned through the people who have come into my life and influenced the project — I’m definitely more ready to direct it now,” she said.