In addition to starring, Cher will also serve as executive producer with Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, and Katie Couric, who are all producing. Bruce Beresford will direct, and Barbara Stepansky is writing. The telepic — which was first announced last spring — has not been officially greenlit yet, but is expected to begin production this spring, according to Deadline, which first broke news of Cher’s casting. Sony Television is the studio.
Unlike other Lifetime TV movies, the project is expected to be a hard-hitting fact-based drama. It will explore the events that led to the toxic crime and will shed light on politics of the poor management and the human element of residents who suffered and were ignored. Cher will play a local Flint resident whose family is impacted by the water crisis.
The project is based on Time magazine’s February 2016 cover story by Josh Sanburn about the water contamination crisis. Zadan and Meron acquired the rights to the article through their Storyline Entertainment banner. Mark Nicholson, who runs their company, developed Stepansky’s script and will also serve as a producer on the TV movie.
The film is a departure for Zadan and Meron, who are known for producing many Academy Award telecasts and other high-energy live musicals, including NBC’s “Hairspray Live!,” “The Wiz Live!,” and “Peter Pan Live!” The duo also worked on NBC’s Broadway-themed series “Smash,” and will produce the network’s upcoming “Bye Bye Birdie!” starring Jennifer Lopez.
“Flint” marks a return to acting for Cher whose most recent credit was starring in the film “Burlesque,” opposite Christina Aguilera. Prior to that 2010 flick, her last project was in 2003. However, the Lifetime film is a passion project for the icon, who’s committed to the film’s subject matter — she has been raising awareness about the water crisis on social media, and has donated thousands of water bottles to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.