One biopic that I’m surprised no one has snapped up yet is the story of Lena Horne. Who wouldn’t want to see a period piece with Horne singing it up and fighting racial injustice, with the ultimate high point being seeing her play Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz?
Who could play Horne, though? I have three suggestions.
We’ve already seen Ejogo in some big films, most notably Selma, in which she played Coretta Scott King. Of course, playing another popular figure could start murmurings of “typecast,” like Chadwick Boseman, who played both Jackie Robinson and James Brown. But still, I think Ejogo could make a great Horne.
Funnily enough, Cookie Lyon has already called Grace Gealey’s Empire character Anika a broke-down Lena Horne or somesuch, so the comparison has already been made, albeit as an insult to Anika’s focus on appearances. But in truth, Gealey could be a great Lena Horne. She has already shown she has depth of range on Empire, and as a newcomer to Hollywood, a big-budget film like this would really cement her as the industry’s next leading lady.
Tessa Thompson has already made waves for her performance in Dear White People and Selma (and, if you were a fan of Copper, you probably remember seeing her there as well). Thompson wasn’t given a lot to do in Selma, to be honest, but she has a lot of scenery to chew in Dear White People and it’s clear that her star’s on the rise for a reason. Again, like Gealey, a movie like a Lena Horne biopic would propel Thompson to household name status. Although, her role in the upcoming Rocky spinoff focusing on Apollo Creed’s grandson, Creed, will probably do that as well.
Who would you choose to play Lena Horne?
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures, Matt Dinnerstein/FOX