Margaret Avery has been cast in Screen Gems’ upcoming thriller Proud Mary, which stars Taraji P. Henson as hit woman Mary Goodwin.

Babak Najafi will be directing from a script by John Stewart Newman and Christian Swegal, with production scheduled to begin this month in Boston. Paul Schiff and Tai Duncan are producing.

The film follows Mary Goodwin who, working as for an organized crime family in Boston, is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.

Avery is best known for her effervescent portrayal of Shug Avery in the screen adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. A veteran in the film and television world, she has made numerous TV series guest appearances, including The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Kojak, Sanford and Son, Murder, She Wrote, Miami Vice, The Cosby Show, Walker, Texas Ranger, and more. She appeared in films such as Dirty Harry with Clint Eastwood, the television movie The Jacksons: An American Dream, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins with Martin Lawrence and Meet the Browns, alongside Angela Bassett. Currently, she portrays the recurring character Helen Patterson in BET’s hit series Being Mary Jane. She will be reuniting with her The Color Purple co-star Danny Glover in this upcoming thriller pic. She is repped Ideal Talent Agency.

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