Wendy Williams' life is the perfect story for a movie, so Lifetime is developing a biopic about the popular daytime talk show star. A&E Networks announced the project on Tuesday, July 23, and more details leaked on TMZ Sunday. Although the film will be developed with Williams, it does not look like the filmmakers plan to sugar coat her life.
Lifetime said Williams will executive produce the film, which will look at the "highs and lows she has experienced throughout the years." The network teased a movie that will provide a "revealing look at Wendy’s journey, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show."
Filming will start this fall and it will be produced by Will Packer Media for a 2020 debut. Leigh Davenport wrote the screenplay with Williams.
According to TMZ, the film is titled Just Wendy and will cover Williams' life from age 10 to 55. The topics will include her struggle with cocaine, "sex romps," the fat-shaming she faced from her family and "a never-before-told story of date rape at the hands of a chart-topping artist."
Sources told the site her marriage to Kevin Hunter and their divorce will make it into the film, as well as her relationship with Mo'Nique. Her experiences with racism and sexism in Hollywood will also be covered.
There will be at least two different actresses playing Williams at different parts of her life. She told TMZ they are trying to find unknowns to play Williams so the focus will be on the story, not the actresses.
TMZ reports that Will Packer will direct the film himself. Packer is a prolific producer whose credits include the Ride Along movies, Girls Trip, Night School, No Good Deed and Straight Outta Compton. He earned an Emmy nomination as a producer on the 2016 Roots miniseries.
After the biopic airs, Lifetime will debut a documentary about Williams, produced by Creature Films and Entertainment One (eOne).
Williams' life has been difficult over the past few months, due in part to her divorce from Hunter. After more than 20 years of marriage, Williams filed for divorce from Hunter, following years of cheating rumors.
Hunter reportedly welcomed a baby with mistress Sharina Hudson, whom he was seeing for over a decade. Williams also cut all professional ties with Hunter, even dissolving The Hunter Foundation they established together to help those with substance abuse issues.
In June, Williams admitted Hunter still has a special place in her heart, but she is prepared to find success without him.
“My husband and I were partners, but I just had to clean the slate and start over. I’m good at this new role, at least I think so, but this isn’t new for me,” she said at the Black Enterprise FWD Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina last month. “I met my husband on my 29th birthday. I was already a property owner. I was already a radio star. I was already the boss of my own life. I’m returning to that life with a bigger platform and I love it.”
She added, “Now, I cheer for myself, but I’m still madly in love with him... You see it in my eyes.”0comments
Before Hunter, Williams was briefly married to Bert Girigorie in 1994 and 1995. She and Hunter have a son, 19-year-old Kevin Hunter Jr.
Photo credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM