[03/23/23 - 11:10 AM] From Grammy and Emmy Award Winning Artist and Executive Producer Mary J. Blige, Comes Two New Original Movies Inspired by Her Best-Selling Songs "Real Love" and "Strength of a Woman," Starring Ajiona Alexus and Da'Vinchi Princess Davis, Austin Anozie, Millan Tesfazgi, Shiraine Haas, Garfield Wilson and Hamza Fouad round out the cast and portray the highs and lows of young Black love.
[via press release from Lifetime]
FROM GRAMMY AND EMMY AWARD WINNING ARTIST AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER MARY J. BLIGE, COMES TWO NEW ORIGINAL MOVIES INSPIRED BY HER BEST-SELLING SONGS "REAL LOVE" AND "STRENGTH OF A WOMAN," STARRING AJIONA ALEXUS AND DA'VINCHI
PREMIERING JUNE 10 AND JUNE 17,
JOHN AND JORDAN DAVIS PRODUCE ALONGSIDE BLIGE,
ASHAUNNA K. AYARS AND Q. NICOLE JACKSON
Los Angeles, CA (March 23, 2023) - The "Queen of Hip Hop Soul," will be the queen of this summer with two new original movies inspired by Mary J. Blige's biggest hits -- Mary J. Blige's Real Love and Mary J. Blige's Strength of a Woman, set to premiere on back-to-back Saturdays, beginning June 10 at 8p/7c. The two-pack of movies are headlined by Ajiona Alexus (Empire,13 Reasons Why) and Da'Vinchi (BMF, All American) with Princess Davis, Austin Anozie, Millan Tesfazgi, Shiraine Haas, Garfield Wilson and Hamza Fouad rounding out the cast and portrays the highs and lows of young Black love.
Mary J. Blige's Real Love follows 18-year-old Kendra (Alexus) as she sets off on her own for the first time at an HBCU in North Carolina. Attending on a scholarship, Kendra is determined to focus on school while balancing work study and keeping things professional with Ben (Da'Vinchi), her photo class partner. Despite disapproving parents, financial hardship, and even an unexpected pregnancy, Kendra and Ben find themselves falling hard for each other and ultimately learning the meaning of "Real Love." Even when Kendra realizes that in order to pursue her dreams, she must leave Ben behind, it's certain that their story isn't over...
The story of Kendra and Ben continues in Mary J. Blige's Strength of a Woman, jumping ahead more than 15 years. 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 dig deep to find the strength to take control of her life and accept the love Ben may be offering again.
In support of the content, Lifetime has partnered with Take Back The Night Foundation(R), an international event and non-profit organization with the mission ending all forms of sexual violence, including sexual assault, sexual abuse, trafficking, stalking, gender harassment, and relationship violence, and to support survivors in their healing journeys.
Helming both movies as executive producers are John Davis and Jordan Davis of Davis Entertainment Jordan recently produced Lifetime's highly rated film, Love You to Death, inspired by the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Jordan is also a producer on Netflix's upcoming science-fiction/fantasy film The Uglies, starring Joey King and Laverne Cox. Set to be released this year, development on the project dates back to 2006 as it was a favorite novel of Jordan and her daughter's. Veteran film, television and award-winning producer John Davis is known for more than 115 top grossing feature films including Jungle Cruise, Predator, Grumpy Old Men, Waterworld and most recently Prey, to name a few.
Mary J. Blige also serves as an executive producer on both original films through her own production banner, Blue Butterfly with Ashaunna K. Ayars and Q. Nicole Jackson as co-producers. Blige has a proven track record of resonating with Lifetime's audiences, having previously executive produced Lifetime's top-rated original movie of 2020, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel alongside fellow EPs Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott. In 2020, The Clark Sisters reached more than 13.9 million Total Viewers1 and was 2020's #1 original movie on cable.2 Blige also starred as Dr. Betty Shabazz in her first movie role in the Lifetime civil rights biopic Betty & Coretta, with Angela Bassett.
In addition, Mary J. Blige's Real Love and Mary J. Blige's Strength of a Woman are also produced by Front Street Pictures and are being distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Camrus Johnson directs Real Love from a script written by Sonja Warfield and Rachel Ingram, and Shari Lynette Carpenter directs Strength of a Woman from a script written by Ingram.
1. Source: Nielsen Live+7, 4/11/20-7/10/20, P2+ reach (000s), 1+ min qualifier, Total Day M-Sun 6a-6a, 15 telecasts on LIFE and LMN
2. Source: Nielsen Live+SD, (000s), A25-54, W25-54, A18-49, W18-49, 2020 Calendar Year =12/30/19-12/27/20, Original Movies Only (Excludes all theatricals and acquired movies on all nets, excludes mini-series)
Celebrating 35 years of entertaining audiences, Lifetime is a premier entertainment destination for women dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning award-winning movies, high-quality scripted series and breakout non-fiction series. Lifetime has an impressive legacy in public affairs, bringing attention to social issues that women care about with initiatives such as the long running Stop Breast Cancer for Life now in its 25th year, Stop Violence Against Women which relaunched in 2018, and Broader Focus, a major global initiative dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers and producers, including women of color, to make its content. Lifetime Television(R), LMN(R), Lifetime Real Women(R) and Lifetime Digital(TM) are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.
Interact with Lifetime on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook
A+E Official Press Site http://press.aenetworks.com
ABOUT DAVIS ENTERTAINMENT
Davis Entertainment is a film and television production company, founded by John Davis, that has produced over 115 feature films and 13 television series, with various projects at networks and cable broadcasters, streaming platforms, major studios and independent distributors.
Davis recently produced JUNGLE CRUISE with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, Lifetime's LOVE YOU TO DEATH, inspired by the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, and the movie PREY, which is the most watched television series or movie in Hulu history. John and collaborator Jordan Davis are in post-production with Netflix on THE UGLIES, based on the best-selling book series, with McG directing and Joey King starring, as well as HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON, with Zachary Levi starring and Carlos Saldanha directing, for Sony Pictures. Additional films include GAME NIGHT, DOLEMITE IS MY NAME, I, ROBOT, the PREDATOR FRANCHISE, THE FIRM, WATERWORLD, and CHRONICLE. They also have numerous additional projects in production and development.
In Television, Davis Entertainment's new projects include a pilot based on the Witch Mountain film franchise starring Bryce Dallas Howard which is set to premiere on Disney+ in 2023. Currently, Davis Entertainment has three series on the air - THE BLACKLIST, entering its final tenth season, the CBS hit series THE EQUALIZER with Queen Latifah, and MAGNUM P.I. with Jay Hernandez. John and Jordan are also producing the upcoming conversation series, THE WINE DOWN WITH MARY J. BLIGE.