LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 26:  Recording artist Queen Latifah performs during the 18th annual Keep Memory Alive 'Power of Love Gala' benefit for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health honoring Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan Jr. on April 26, 2014 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive) Queen Latifah is preparing to bring blues singer Bessie Smith's story to the small screen.
(Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive)

 

Queen Latifah is set to star in HBO's upcoming biopic about legendary blues singer Bessie Smith. Smith was so successful in the '20s and '30s that she was known as the Empress of the Blues. Latifah showed off some serious singing prowess in 2002's "Chicago," but has lately been focusing on her talk show, "The Queen Latifah Show."

 

 

The film will be written and directed by Dee Rees, who also directed the indie hit "Pariah." A release date has not been set, but HBO has had good luck with its original movies in the past, with the Steven Soderbergh-directed Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra" bringing home a series of awards.

 

Journalists, prepare your best Empress/Queen headline puns.