Taraji P. Henson’s middle name may be Penda, but for the purposes of this news story, the ‘P’ stands for “Principal Photography!”
According to Deadline, Henson will be making her feature directorial debut with the upcoming drama from Bron Studios titled Two-Faced. The Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actress will also star in the film.
With a name like that (a term I remember being thrown around a lot in school), I’m sure you want to know what this is about. Well, Deadline has the scoop:
Two-Faced, written by Cat Wilkins, follows Joy, a Black high school senior whose chances to attend the college of her dreams are threatened by her wildly popular and charismatic school principal, Jerald, after she confronts him with evidence of his racist past. With the help of her friends, Joy sets out to expose Jerald for who he truly is but quickly learns that he is not above waging all-out-war against the students trying to take him down. Henson will play Gina Robinson, Joy’s mother.
Henson will also be producing the film under her TPH Entertainment banner, along with Aaron L. Gilbert (Fences), Tim Story (Ride Along), and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett (Coach Carter). Wilkins, Christine Conley and Trent Hubbard will serve as executive producers.
“After two decades spent in front of the camera, I’m thrilled to finally jump behind it for my feature directorial debut!” Henson exclaimed in a statement. “What first attracted me to this project was Joy—she is the character I needed to see in films growing up, but never had. It’s important that stories be told from a woman’s point of view and partnering with Bron Studios and the amazingly talented Tim Story—both [of whom] use their platforms to help elevate women and people of color—feels like the perfect match. I can’t wait to bring this hilariously heartfelt script by Cat Wilkins to life!”
“I could not be more excited to support one of the most talented people I have ever known,” Story added in a statement. “Taraji and I have done three movies together and I knew it was only a matter of time before she would make this leap to directing and I am honored to produce this film along with Bron Studios. Taraji is like family to me and I cannot wait for everyone to see her directorial vision of this hilarious script by Cat Wilkins brought to the screen.”
This has been a year of helming for Henson because she actually made her general directorial debut by sitting in the director’s chair for an episode of Empire as part of the series’ final season. With Two-Faced, she’s about to add yet another director credit to her IMDb page!
Henson’s projects are piling up quickly (hell, there was just some news around one of her projects a day ago), so it’s only right to cite her name as well when we talk about the arbiters of Black excellence who never seem to get any sleep such as Ava DuVernay and Issa Rae. As Staff Writer Jay Connor noted, “I see Taraji is rapidly climbing up the ‘When Do They Sleep?’ power rankings.”
Let the grind games begin!