EXCLUSIVE: BET+ has greenlit the biopic The First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch Story inspired by the true life of Detroit native Tonesa Welch, which was first chronicled in American Gangster: Trap Queens, also from the streamer.
Vivica Fox (Holiday Hideway) is set to direct the film based on a script by Gabrielle Collins; Tressa Azarel Smallwood (All In) and Judge Greg Mathis (Madea Goes to Jail) executive produce alongside Donte Lee and Delece James.
The biopic charts Welch’s rise from teen mom to drug dealer to being labeled by federal prosecutors as “The First Lady of BMF.” Dreams and desires, craftiness and creativity, hustle and hard work, Welch tells a harrowing story about riches, remorse, personal responsibility, and redemption set amidst the lavishness and extreme violence of Detroit’s crack era and America’s “war on drugs.”
First featured as part of the BET+ hit unscripted series American Gangster: Trap Queens, a true crime series detailing the criminal chronicles of some of America’s most notorious female gangsters, Tonesa Welch’s story reignited interest in the history of the Black Mafia Family. Currently, key aspects of her life make up the main storyline in Season 2 of the hit Starz series, BMF, with LaLa Anthony portraying the character inspired by Welch, MarKaisha Taylor.
Production on The First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch Story is set to begin in April in Washington, D.C., and will debut on BET+ later this year.