Beyonce, Jay Z, Queen Latifah, Meryl Streep to star in HBO projects

Jay-Z and Beyonce attend the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014, in New York. Mike Coppola/Getty Images

HBO has a slew of A-list-starring projects lined up for the near future.

Beyonce and Jay Z will co-star in a concert special, while Queen Latifah will play legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in a movie for the network.

The music special will feature the married couple on their "On the Run Tour" performing in Paris. It will tape Sept. 12 and 13 at the Stade de France, featuring the superstars performing more than 40 songs, the network announced. It will air later on that month.

Starring Queen Latifah, "Bessie" is written and directed by filmmaker Dee Rees ("Pariah"). Currently in production in Atlanta, it co-stars Michael K. Williams, Khandi Alexander, Charles S. Dutton, Oliver Platt and Mo'Nique. It premieres in 2015.

HBO also said Mike Nichols will direct fellow Oscar-winner Meryl Streep in "Master Class." Drawing on the legendary master classes given by opera star Maria Callas, it is based on the Tony award-winning play of the same name by Terrence McNally, who will adapt his work for the screen.

The announcements were made Thursday at the summer TV critics' tour, where good news also came from sister network Cinemax about its upcoming series "The Knick." This drama of a circa-1900 New York hospital has been rewarded with a second season prior to its Aug. 8 premiere. It stars Clive Owen, with both 10-episode seasons directed by Steven Soderbergh.

With HBO's freshman drama "True Detective" landing best-actor Emmy nominations on Thursday for both leads, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, this question was renewed: Who will star in the series' second season, which is expected to feature an entirely new cast?

Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, promised an announcement soon, perhaps even next week.One option being considered, he joked: "Doing the new season with puppets."

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