Let's Talk About This Lifetime Salt-N-Pepa Biopic—It's Actually Authorized!

Sandra Denton and Cheryl James of Salt-N-Pepa speak onstage during the 2019 A+E Networks Upfront on March 27, 2019 in New York City.
Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images for A+E Networks)

Oh, Lifetime. Here they go, here they go, here they go, again.

According to Variety, a Salt-N-Pepa biopic is coming and the project has found its leads. G.G. Townson (In the Cut) will be portraying Cheryl “Salt” James and Laila Odom (The Bobby DeBarge Story) will be portraying Sandra “Pepa” Denton in the film with a script penned by Abdul Williams (The New Edition Story).

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And guess who’s directing, y’all? Mario Van Peebles!

Variety breaks it down:

This still-untitled authorized biopic follows the acclaimed musicians as they first fall into the world of hip-hop after recording a song for a friend. It will track their impact on the music world, becoming one of the first all-female rap groups, changing the look and sound of the genre as they were unafraid to talk and sing about sex and their thoughts on men, and then going on to reach platinum status as recording artists and win a Grammy. The project also endeavors to uncover the women behind the music, revealing how their very different personalities fueled their creativity but also tested the bonds of their relationship.

There’s a key word here: “authorized.” James and Denton will be serving as executive producers. Lifetime has become infamous for its slew of unauthorized biopics. Producing content like a rebel network without a cause (or um, with a cause…profit, that is), Lifetime has covered the lives of Britney Spears, the cast of Full House, and even the modern royal couples. One of the worst times had to be when the cable network covered Aaliyah’s life without permission and we were thus left with Alexandra Shipp singing Motown songs and the R&B crooner’s cover of “At Your Best (You Are Love),” written by the Isley Brothers and Chris Jasper.

That won’t be a problem here, however, because the biopic is expected to include the rap group’s greatest hits, such as “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “What a Man,” “Shoop” and “Push It.” Rounding out the cast of the Salt-N-Pepa biopic will be Monique Paul as Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper, Cleveland Burton as music producer Hurby Azor and Jermel Howard as rapper Treach.

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Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere are attached to the project as executive producers and James “Jimmy” Maynes and Hurby Azor will serve as co-executive producers

The Salt-N-Pepa biopic will air on Lifetime in 2020.

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Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.