Mary J. Blige has inspired two more Lifetime original movies based on the rich catalog of music she has recorded throughout her nearly four-decade career.
On Thursday (March 23), Lifetime announced it will be working with the Grammy-Award winning singer yet again, for another original movie. The two films are inspired by two of Blige’s biggest hits, “Real Love” and “Strength of a Woman.”
The flicks will be released back-to-back on Saturdays, beginning June 10 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime. The New York native will serve as an executive producer on both films under her own production banner, Blue Butterfly, with co-producers Ashaunna Ayars and Nicole Jackson.
Written by Sonja Warfield and Rachel Ingram, both films star Ajiona Alexus (Empire, 13 Reasons Why) and Da’Vinchi (BMF, All American) alongside Princess Davis, Austin Anozie, Shiraine Haas and Garfield Wilson.
It was only last March, when Lifetime announced the first installment of the coming-of-age drama, titled Real Love, based on her 1992 breakthrough single of the same name.
Real Love follows an intellectual student named Kendra (Alexus), who begins her college career in upstate New York, where she meets her film class partner Ben (Da’Vinchi), who changes her whole world around. Despite all the issues they go through in the film, the two fall for each other and learn what love is.
Jumping ahead nearly 15 years, Strength of a Woman will pick up where Real Love ends. Now a successful photographer, Kendra finds herself in a failing marriage and must reckon with the decisions she made for the life she thought she wanted. When Ben unexpectedly comes back into her life, she is forced to a crisis point and must regain the strength to take control of her life and accept the love Ben may offer again.
“I wrote ‘Real Love’ based on my real-life experiences and my fans connected to it in a deeply personal way,” Blige said in a statement at the time. “It’s exciting to now use this song and my music to create a new story by way of film, continuing to build on a pillar of the foundation of my production company, Blue Butterfly. My passions for acting and music now include developing diverse stories with music as the backdrop.”
Tanya Lopez, EVP of scripted content at Lifetime added: “Mary is one of those phenomenal talents that can do it all. We are so thrilled to be able to partner with her again on this new opportunity to bring her music to life in the form of a movie that we know audiences will love.”