First announced back in October 2011, a remake of the 1989 tear jerker drama set in Louisiana, Steel Magnolias, with an all-African American cast, in currently in production in Altanta, GA.
As already announced, the films cast includes: Queen Latifah (she's also executive producer) as M'Lynn, Alfre Woodard as Ouiser, Phylicia Rashad as Clairee, Jill Scott as Truvy, Adepero Oduye as Annelle and Rashad’s daughter, Condola Rashad as Shelby.
The original Steel Magnolias starred Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Darryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts.
This all-black reincarnation for Lifetime is being directed by Kenny Leon (ABC's A Raisin in The Sun, Broadway's Fences and The Mountaintop), from a script adapted from the 1989 film screenplay by Sally Robinson.
Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Sony Pictures TV all all also producers.
Supporting each other through their triumphs and tragedies, they congregate at Truvy’s beauty shop to ponder the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children – and hair and nails – all the important topics that bring women together.
"The caliber of talent associated with this film is astounding and falls in line with our strategy to make Lifetime a first stop for the industry’s best both in front of and behind the camera… Queen Latifah, Phylicia, Alfre, Jill, Adepero and Condola are some of the most celebrated women in music, film, television and stage — and we could not be more thrilled and honored for them to bring Robert Harling’s poignant story about the strength of women to a whole new generation," said Lifetime’s president and general manager Nancy Dubuc.
I've actually never seen the original 1989 movie; I really had no interest in it, and still don't. But I'll likely check it out before this all-black version makes it debut, if only to be able to compare/contrast the two.
This is still a project that had me perplexed when I first heard about it last year; I guess I can understand the motivation for Lifetime and the film's producers wanting to make it; but really, aside from the fact that these wonderful actresses get to work and collect paychecks (I'm especially happy to see Adepero Oduye getting another opportunity after Pariah), I'd like to believe that there's something original out there for all of them to star in. And if not, Latifah should be in a position to commission a script based on an original idea/concept.
Ah well… so it goes…
Watch the behind-the-scenes footage video below: