A biopic about Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American actress to be nominated and, subsequently, to win an Academy Award in 1940, is in development.
The film will be adapted from the biography, Hattie McDaniel: Black Ambition, White Hollywood by Jill Watts. Alysia Allen, who garnered the rights to the book, will produce the project with Aaron Magnani. They are currently looking for a screenwriter for the movie.
Best known for her role as Mammy in Gone With the Wind, McDaniel, the youngest daughter of freed slaves, appeared in countless movies, was a singer-songwriter in radio and television shows, and got her start in Vaudeville. Among her accomplishments, she has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1975 she was inducted into the Black Filmmaker’s Hall of Fame. McDaniels groundbreaking body of work woke many in the entertainment industry to injustice and typecasting and made it possible for a more realistic portrayal of people of color.
Allen started Mocha Girls Read, a highly regarded national book club and Magnani executive produced The Last Word, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried.