R&B singer and actor Fantasia Barrino has been cast to star as Gospel great Mahalia Jackson in an upcoming biopic and stand to make a pretty penny if it is successful.

The title of the film is 'Mahalia' and is based on Jules Schwerin's 1993 book 'Got To Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel' reports the New York Post. Sources say 'Mahalia' has a budget of $23.9 million and that Barrino will also earn a percentage of the Euzhan Palcy directed film's gross.

Mahalia Jackson was born in New Orleans in 1911, and rose to become the preeminent voice in gospel music. Jackson also used her influence to spur on the cause of Civil Rights for African-American in the United States. Among her many distinctions is being the first gospel singer to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Barrino, winner of the third season of 'American Idol' in 2004, has a number of acting credits, including playing herself in the Lifetime Channel's 'Life Is Not a Fairy Tale' in 2006, and playing the role of Celie in the Oprah Winfrey-produced, Broadway musical adaptation of 'The Color Purple' during its run in New York City in 2007.

She recently performed the latest single, 'Collard Greens and Cornbread,' from her third album, 'Back to Me,' on the latest season of 'American Idol.' 'Back to Me' led by the lead single 'Bittersweet' is available in stores now.

Watch Fantasia Perform 'Bittersweet' in Our Studios


More From TheBoombox