Octavia Spencer and Queen Latifah to Bring THE RHINELANDER AFFAIR to the Big Screen

Octavia Spencer and Queen Latifah to Bring THE RHINELANDER AFFAIR to the Big Screen

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Octavia Spencer and Queen Latifah will star in in The Rhinelander Affair following the controversial 1925 DIVORCE trial in New York involving a man from an upper-class New Rochelle family who married a bi-racial, working-class woman. It is a ripped from the headlines story from the 1920s with many meaty roles in what was a roller coaster ride about money, love, racism and betrayal.

The project is now being produced for the big screen by Mark and Christine Holder (who found the story), Octavia Spencer, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere's Flavor Unit Entertainment and Dave Broome (The Day I Met El Chapo). The Kingsolving manuscript, repped by Trident, is going out to publishers this summer.

Rhinelander v. Rhinelander was a DIVORCE case between Kip Rhinelander and Alice Jones. Leonard "Kip" Rhinelander was an American socialite and a member of the socially prominent and wealthy New York City Rhinelander family. His marriage at the age of 21 to Alice Jones, a biracial woman who was a working-class daughter of English immigrants, made national headlines in 1924. Their 1925 DIVORCE trial highlighted contemporary strains related to the instability of the upper class, as well as racial anxiety about "passing" at a time when New York was a destination for numerous blacks from the South in the Great Migration and immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. The trial also touched on the vague legal definition of the time as to who was to be considered "white" or "colored," alternately portraying race as biologically determined and knowable or as more fluid.

Spencer is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and a Golden Globe Award. She is one of two black actresses to have received three Academy Award nominations and is the only black actress to receive two consecutive nominations. Spencer made her film debut in the 1996 drama A Time to Kill. Following a decade of brief roles in film and television, her breakthrough came in 2011, when she played a maid in 1960s America in The Help, for which she won several awards, including the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress. For her performance in Ryan Coogler's drama Fruitvale Station (2013), she received the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. Spencer went on to appear in such films as Smashed (2012), Snowpiercer (2013), Get on Up (2014), The Divergent Series (2015-2016), and Gifted (2017). She received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for playing two more women in 1960s America, the mathematician Dorothy Vaughan in the drama film Hidden Figures (2016) and a cleaning woman in the fantasy film The Shape of Water (2017).

Latifah starred as Khadijah James on the FOX sitcom Living Single, from 1993 to 1998. Her third album Black Reign (1993), spawned the single "U.N.I.T.Y.", which won a Grammy Award and was successful on the Billboard Hot 100. She then starred in the lead role of Set It Off (1996) and released her fourth album, Order in the Court, in 1998, with Motown Records. Latifah gained mainstream success and acclaim with her performance in the film Chicago (2002), receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Latifah released her fifth album The Dana Owens Album in 2004. In 2007 and 2009, she released two more studio albums - Trav'lin' Light and Persona. She created the daytime talk show The Queen Latifah Show, which ran from late 2013 to early 2015 on CBS. She has appeared in a number of films, such as Bringing Down the House (2003), Taxi (2004), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2005), Beauty Shop (2005), Last Holiday (2006), Hairspray (2007), JOYFUL NOISE (2012), 22 Jump Street (2014) and Girls Trip (2017). Latifah received critical acclaim for her portrayal of blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO film Bessie (2015), which she co-produced, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Since 2016, she has starred as Carlotta Brown in the musical drama series Star. She has long been considered one of hip-hop's pioneer feminists.Queen Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. Latifah's work in music, film and television has earned her a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination and sales of over two million records.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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