Taraji P. Henson (The Color Purple, Hidden Figures) has joined the cast of Peacock’s limited series Fight Night: The Million Dollar Heist in the series regular role of Vivian Thomas, a savvy businesswoman and Chicken Man’s (Kevin Hart) mistress.
The series reunites Henson with Hart who have collaborated on multiple projects including the films Think Like a Man and Not Easily Broken. Additionally, Fight Night also brings Henson back together with Terrence Howard and Craig Brewer, with whom she collaborated on Hustle & Flow and Empire, among other projects.
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Set in Atlanta, Fight Night tells the infamous story of how an armed robbery during the night of Muhammad Ali’s historic 1970 comeback fight changed not only one man’s life but an entire city’s destiny.
As Deadline exclusively revealed on Wednesday morning, Dexter Darden will star as the legendary boxer in the limited series. In addition to Henson, Darden, Hart and Howard, Samuel L. Jackson also stars.
Fight Night is created and written by Shaye Ogbonna based on the eponymous podcast from iHeartPodcasts, Doghouse Pictures and Will Packer Media. Ogbonna and Jason Horwitch serve as showrunners; they exec produce alongside Hart, Bryan Smiley and Mike Stein for Hart’s Hartbeat, Packer and Sabrina Wind for Will Packer Media, Conal Byrne, Will Pearson and Carrie Lieberman for iHeartPodcasts, Jeff Keating and Lars Jacobson. Hartbeat’s Tiffany Brown and Studio 43’s Kenny Burns will co-executive produce. The series comes from Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.
Henson is coming off a busy award season promoting the highly lauded film The Color Purple, an adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical, which is itself an adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. She reprised the role of Shug Avery to much acclaim.
She is also best known for her breakout performance in the 2005 musical drama feature Hustle & Flow, written and directed by Brewer, and for her portrayal of Cookie Lyon on the Fox series Empire. Additional credits across TV and film also include Minions: The Rise of Gru, Annie Live!, Think Like a Man, Smokin’ Aces and What Men Want, among many other titles.
Henson is represented by CAA, M88 and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.
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