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It is a truth universally acknowledged that Regina King is amazing. And if this is a truth you haven’t yet accepted, go watch If Beale Street Could Talk and the new HBO series Watchmen back to back. She’s incredible! We didn’t really need an excuse to celebrate her, but it’s her birthday so we’re going all out. And because we know she loves to take on literary role – see, ahem, If Beale Street Could Talk and Watchmen – we’re putting together a list of literary roles we would love to see her play.

 

Jayda Jackson in On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

We absolutely love Angie Thomas, and On the Come Up is no exception. Not only does she write incredibly layered teen characters who drive their own story forward, she writes parents we want to spend time with. Not roll-your-eyes-so-hard-you-hit-the-ceiling parents, but three-dimensional human beings who would 100% raise these incredible teens. Jayda Jackson is no exception, and we would love to see Regina King in this role, with Angie Thomas in a prominent producing and screenwriting role to boot.

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Margot Cleary in The Power by Naomi Alderman

One of our absolute favorite books of 2017 was The Power by Naomi Alderman. And, no big deal, President Barack Obama loved it too. We would absolutely love to see Regina King play Margot Cleary, the American politician and founder of the North Star Girls Camps, training young girls how to use their power safely and effectively. In a novel filled with so much rage, it’s difficult to parse whether Margot is a villain or simply part of this new world. And it’s that messy reality that gets us excited to see Regina King in the role. Also, how is this not already a movie? It’s so cinematic!

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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

 

 

Courtney Cooper’s mom in Odd One Out by Nic Stone

The last thing we want to do is put Regina King in the box of playing an unnamed character – and someone’s mother at that – but the relationship between Coop and his mother in Odd One Out is so easy and beautiful that there’s no one else we want to see in this role. It’s a novel told entirely in first person, rotating through Courtney “Coop” Cooper, Rae Evelyn Chin, and Jupiter Charity-Sanchez. And while we don’t know their parents’ names, we know the love, the understanding, and the support they share. And if that doesn’t feel like an echo of Regina King’s Beale Street role, we don’t know what is.

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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

 

Andrea in All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg is a master of strong female protagonists full of wonderful flaws. And when Andrea from All Grown Up is first introduced to us, it’s with the understanding that she’s in charge of the way this story is told, whether or not her narration is reliable. It’s an acting challenge for sure, one that we’d love to see Regina King tackle. Plus we really want to see her draw the Empire State building over and over again. That discipline and repetition is such an incredible image in the book.

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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

 

Michelle Obama in Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer

Honestly, we’d love to see Regina King play Michelle Obama in any movie, any time. But because we’re sticking to fiction, we would love love love to see her play our favorite first lady in the buddy cop comedy that is Hope Never Dies. And we know, she’s not a major character in the book. But there’s always room to expand the universe in the film adaptation, right?

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Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


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Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.