Queen Latifah replaces Cher in Lifetime ‘Flint’ telefilm

Last month, Cher had to withdraw from “Flint,” a telefilm about the water crisis in the Michigan city due to family reasons. Executive producers  Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have recruited their long-time friend Queen Latifah to take her place. This versatile talent reaped an Oscar bid for her supporting performance in their 2002 Best Picture winner “Chicago.” And in 2012, she headlined their TV remake of “Steel Magnolias,” which ranks as the third-highest rated telefilm in the history of Lifetime.

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“Flint,” which was inspired by Josh Sanburn‘s Time magazine cover story, “The Toxic Tap,” the film follows the story of three women from Flint (to be played by Betsy Brandt, Marin Ireland and Jill Scott), who fought to expose the wrongdoing committed against the residents of the city who were unknowingly drinking and using lead-laden water. Bruce Beresford, who helmed the 1989 Best Picture champ “Driving Miss Daisy” is directing from a script by Barbara Stepansky.

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Lifetime is one of the few outlets still making TV movies, a one-time programming staple of the Big 3 networks (ABC, CBS, NBC). The basic cable channel has enjoyed both critical and commercial success with such telefilms as “The Trip to Bountiful” and “Georgia O’Keefe.”

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