Misty Copeland biopic ‘Life in Motion’ to be helmed by Nzingha Stewart

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Misty Copeland appears as the Ballerina Princess in Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.”

The biopic of Misty Copeland, the first African-American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre, is getting a woman of color for its director.

Nzingha Stewart will direct the New Line feature “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” an adaptation of Copeland’s compelling best-selling memoir of the same name, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The movie will chronicle Copeland’s rise from her poor and tumultuous beginnings — she only began ballet at the relatively late age of 13 and soon found herself in the middle of a custody battle between her mother and the ballet teachers who were her legal guardians at the time — to becoming a crossover star. Copeland has written books, appeared in movies and television commercials, and has become a sought-after speaker.

“As an African-American woman, I know firsthand that when Misty Copeland leaps, we all soar,” said Stewart in a statement. “As a filmmaker, I am thrilled to bring this hopeful, triumphant and cinematic story to the big screen.”

Stewart is a prolific television director and has worked on a wide range of shows, from “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Scandal” to “Grey’s Anatomy” and “A Million Little Things.” She was also an executive producer on Tyler Perry’s drama “For Colored Girls.” She is currently filming her feature directorial debut, a coming-of-age story called “Tall Girl,” for Netflix.

The project also has a woman screenwriter in Michelle Rosenfarb, who as previously reported, penned the script for Halle Berry’s directorial debut, the mixed martial arts action drama “Bruised,” in which Berry will also star.

“Life in Motion” is being produced by Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot of Offspring Entertainment, as well as Philip Sandhaus, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


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