Janelle Monáe To Play Josephine Baker In A24 Series

Janelle Monáe has signed on to play legendary entertainer, spy, and activist Josephine Baker in a new series titled De La Resistance that’s being developed by A24. Monáe will also produce the project on behalf of their production company Wondaland, and the series will be based on Damien Lewis‘ upcoming book.

Baker was born in St. Louis, Missouri and her talent for song and dance became evident once she reached her teenage years. After struggling to make it in the U.S., she took her talents to Paris where her career would reach astronomic heights.

In 1927, she performed in Un Vent de Folie wearing only a short skirt of artificial bananas and a beaded necklace, something that was unheard of at the time. Her outfit became an iconic image and a symbol both of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties.

Celebrated as a muse to author Ernest Hemingway and artist Pablo Picasso, she renounced her U.S. citizenship and became a French national after her marriage to French industrialist Jean Lion in 1937. She aided the French Resistance during World War II and was awarded the Resistance Medal by the French Committee of National Liberation.

An outspoken advocate for the civil rights movement, Baker refused to play to segregated crowds in the U.S., and was approached by Coretta Scott King to take on an unofficial leadership role in the movement following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The series will no doubt cover a lot of ground, but sources say that the show’s main focus will be on Baker’s time working for the French resistance as a spy during WWII. Hopefully it can introduce a new generation to Baker’s remarkable life.

Monáe has had a pretty illustrious career themself, earning eight Grammy nominations for their three studio albums, starring in acclaimed films such as Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and Harriet, and recently becoming a New York Times Bestselling author for novel The Memory Librarian. Monáe will next be seen in Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out 2.

Monáe might be the perfect person to play Baker. Not only are they incredibly talented, but like Baker, they’re unapologetically themself as an advocate for non-binary people.

There’s currently no release date for the series as we do not yet know where it will stream and/or air. Reportedly, a bidding war is ongoing. So we’ll wait and see where it lands.


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