It was 2 years ago when Tracey Edmonds of Edmonds Entertainment and Proteus Spann of Proteus E2 Productions announced that they had structured a multi-picture deal to develop the extensive library of novels by New York Times best-selling author E. Lynn Harris into feature films.
The first production in this overall creative development deal was to be E. Lynn Harris’s blockbuster first novel, Invisible Life, which was to be jointly produced by Edmonds Entertainment and Proteus E2 Productions with Shelia Ducksworth, Glendon Palmer and Javon Johnson as co-producers.
Screenwriter Ted Witcher (Love Jones) had been brought on to adapt the novel for the motion picture screen.
At the time, the deal was said to have already been in motion shortly before Harris died of a heart attack in 2009.
Skip ahead 2 years later, to an exclusive story at The Hollywood Reporter, with an update on the progress of the above announcement.
Here’s a summary of where things stand:
E. Lynn Harris’s mother, Etta Harris, sued Proteus Spann claiming that he didn’t have legal rights to her son’s books, adding that Spann forged E. Lynn Harris’ signature. The suit halted progress on the project, despite the large amount of money Spann says he’d already spent on developing it.
In addition, he had to spend even more money on legal fees in defending himself.
To make matters worse, his backers pulled out of the project, thanks to the legal battle with Etta Harris.
Also, Tracey Edmonds and her production company team apparently pulled out as well, and are no longer involved in the project.
All of this happened over the last 2 years, since the initial announcement, which we published here in mid-2011.
And after all that turmoil, it looks like Spann was in the right all along, because, a Los Angeles judge ruled in his favor late last month, stating that Spann does indeed legally own exclusive theatrical, film and television rights to Harris’ complete library of novels.
And despite losing plenty, Spann is ready to get Invisible Life, the movie, back on track.
He also plans a Broadway musical version of the novel, as was initially announced.
And he is already developing a film adaptation of Harris’ second best-selling novel, Not A Day Goes By.
“I’m looking for the best opportunity that comes my way to bring these books to life,” Spann tells THR, who add that, Spann, who first met Harris when he was a casting director in New York City, says that despite all that’s happened and all he’s lost, he feels he owes it to his late friend, Harris, to keep pushing forward with what they originally planned.
So now the journey begins all over again, with his previous backers pulling out.
Good luck to you sir!