Cher is a national treasure, I think we can all agree, and we're likely also of similar opinion that more than enough time has gone by without the entertainer standing front and center of a Lifetime Original movie. Lifetime has been shooting high with its scripted programming as of late, and while it might have been ideal to see Cher in something closer to that bizarre remake of Mother, May I Sleep with Danger, she has actually signed on to play the lead in Flint, the cable network's TV movie about the Michigan town's horrifying water crisis.
We shouldn't expect much singing and dancing from Cher in this new role - unless she takes a trip to Detroit, maybe - as her character will be one of those citizens who has been seriously affected by the widespread contamination of Flint's water system. Her family is reaping the ill effects of the public safety fracas, and while the description doesn't mention her going buck and fiercely slapping an indignant government worker in the face, one can only hope.
The project is a fact-heavy drama that will spotlight everything that led to the shocking downward spiral, from the faulty management and officials responsible for things getting so bad in the first place, as well as the incredibly poor response to the crisis from all involved. There have been many voices left unheard in Flint, Michigan, and hopefully Cher can use her own voice to raise awareness here as much as she has in the real world. She has been very active in efforts to aid those in need, as well as drawing more attention to everything that's happening. According to Deadline, she was the one who contacted the producers after hearing about the project, and the role was then written specifically for her.
Barbara Stepansky, screenwriter of Girls! Girls! Girls! among other things, penned the initial script for Flint, with Storyline Entertainment head Mark Nicholson touching it up once Cher got involved. It will be directed by Driving Miss Daisy filmmaker Bruce Beresford, who was nominated for two Oscars for helming 1983's Tender Mercies and for co-writing 1980's 'Breaker' Morant. Cher will also serve as executive producer alongside Katie Couric, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, with the latter two spearheading the Sony TV project after reading Josh Sanburn's TIme cover story on the controversy.
You can tell this must mean a lot to Cher, as this will only be her second TV movie ever, following her acclaimed turn in HBO's 1996 TV movie If These Walls Could Talk, which also spoke to a social issue she cares deeply about. Not that she's a stranger to the small screen, as she's been a showboating staple since the 1960s, but it's almost exclusively been as herself, with fictional roles almost nonexistent. She's done that kind of acting more in features, and she won an Oscar for her work in 1987's Moonstruck. Should the Emmys and Golden Globes keep their eyes and ears open for this one?
Flint hasn't actually gotten the go-ahead from Lifetime yet, but the network has been busy putting the project together since buying it up last spring, so it's definitely on the way to getting made. As such, we can't predict when it might make it to air, but you can head to our midseason TV schedule to see everything the small screen definitely has to offer in the near future.