Octavia Spencer-Led Series on Madam C.J. Walker Coming to Netflix

By Sameer Rao Jul 30, 2018

Netflix will bring the story of one of history’s most trailblazing Black entrepreneurs to life, courtesy of an upcoming limited series. 

Variety reported yesterday (July 29) that the streaming giant confirmed the still-untitled biopic series on beauty mogul Madam C.J. Walker during the Television Critics Association summer tour. The project uses A’Lelia Bundles’ biography "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker" as its source material. In it, Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter and one of the show’s consulting producers, chronicles how a daughter of enslaved parents built a multigenerational business around her innovative hair products for Black women. The book also shows how Walker leveraged her wealth, which made her the first Black millionaire businesswoman in the United States, into philanthropic work. 

Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer will portray Walkers in the eight episode series. The project is being produced by LeBron James‘ SpringHill Entertainment, and "Black Nativity" director Kasi Lemmons will direct the pilot episode.

“For us, this is totally about great stories and great partners," Maverick Carter, James’ partner in SpringHill, told Variety. "Partnering with Octavia to tell the story of Madam C.J. Walker is the ideal first project for SpringHill to take an important step into scripted drama.”