(Status: Optioned as of 1/25/17)
Lee Daniels is re-teaming with Pam Oas Williams to develop The Queen, a feature based on the 2013 article from Slate’s executive editor Josh Levin titled The Welfare Queen. Daniels, who previously worked with Williams on The Butler, will produce through his Lee Daniels Entertainment alongside Pam Williams Productions.
Levin’s piece tells the true story of Linda Taylor, the original “welfare queen,” famously described by Ronald Reagan as the Cadillac-driving “woman in Chicago” who got rich by manipulating the public aid system. Taylor, Levin reveals, was far more complicated and compelling than a simple thief; she was a sort of Talented Mr. Ripley–if Ripley were a real-life femme fatale in 1970s Chicago.
The story describes the way that one of the most gifted criminals in modern times transformed the way we think about race and poverty, and how the crime that made her infamous quite literally allowed her to get away with murder. Source: The Tracking Board.