Former Sony Pictures exec DeVon Franklin is producing the film.
Ailey, who is credited with popularizing modern dance, died in 1989.
The couple announced details on their seven upcoming productions.
A production deal in the $50 million to $60 million range is reportedly in the works.
“Colorism matters. Love will Smith but there are other black actors for this role,” a critic tweeted.
Pendergrass was known for the hits “Love T.K.O.” and “Turn Off The Lights.”