C.J. Walker biography ON HER OWN GROUND is in the works at Zero Gravity Management as a limited series with Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer set to produce and star. The project will be written by Nicole Asher and directed by Kasi Lemmons.
After being born to slaves, orphaned a few years later, and married and widowed by the age of 20, Walker discovered a new hair care formula for black women and built a beauty empire from the ground up. She used her wealth to devote her life to philanthropy and social activism in turn-of-the-century America when women and African Americans had limited-to-no opportunities to amass wealth on their own.
The biography was written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, and was published by Scribner in 2002 where it went on to become a bestseller.
Zero Gravity’s Christine Holder and Mark Holder will produce alongside produce.
Spencer, who won an Academy Award for her work in The Help and stars in the awards season hopeful Hidden Figures opposite Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae. While there has been criticism of The Help and its contribution to portrayals of African Americans, Spencer has used her win as a springboard to bring more complex individuals to both film and television with both Hidden Figures and now On Her Own Ground. She also recently wrapped Taking the Stage – Changing America which will air on ABC.
Spencer is repped by WME.
Asher is repped by Gersh and Schulkin Management.
Lemmons is repped by Gersh.
Emily J | Staff Writer