I remember Omar Tyree’s announcement in late 2009, that he’d formed a production company to see his novels adapted to film, and TV, with Leslie, being the first novel to get screen treatment.
At the time, Tyree seemed thoroughly excited about the possibilities that his novels and those of other black writers presented, that Hollywood just wasn’t, and still really isn’t exploiting, and that he planned to essentially, take matters into his own hands, and make things happen.
I should also note that, in the last 24 months, we’ve seen Tracey Edmonds of Edmonds Entertainment announce a multi-picture deal to develop the extensive library of novels by E. Lynn Harris into feature films; and also Jeff Clanagan of Codeblack Entertainment announced a 7-picture deal with author Mary “HoneyB” Morrison, as well as acquiring the rights to the New York Times best-selling Flyy Girl book trilogy written by Tyree.
So there’s clearly a movement to get these best-selling novels adapted to screen, and we continue to wait and watch to see what develops.
In the meantime, speaking of Tyree’s Leslie, which I haven’t seen an update on since that 2009 announcement, 4 years ago… buried at the bottom of this Variety piece on the creator of the Final Destination franchise – Jeffrey Reddick – entering a multi-picture production agreement with Global Renaissance Entertainment Group, is mention that one of the projects Reddick will develop under this new deal is the film adaptation of Tyree’s Leslie into a trilogy of movies that will “take its characters beyond the novel’s story.”
The New York Times bestselling novel is set in the historically black Dillard University in New Orleans, and follows Leslie Beaudet, a young woman who struggles with a dark secret.
Here’s Amazon’s description:
Her friends and family see her in many ways — from a father’s deserving princess to a mother’s source of pride and strength, from a caring listener to a motivated student — but does anyone know the true Leslie? When a series of murders befall her New Orleans community and increasingly points in Leslie’s direction, her friends and relatives realize they’ve never really known her at all. Slowly, this complicated young woman emerges. She is terrified of failure, struggling with family secrets, praying for elusive security, and craving the power to change her fate. Her power was hidden from her until now…and it might be too late to stop her. Omar Tyree delivers another exciting tale filled with irresistible and authentic characters you won’t soon forget.
Plans are for a trilogy of films based on the novel, so whomever is cast to play Leslie will likely be good for at least 3 paychecks.
It’s said that Reddick’s new slate of projects with Global will feature multi-ethnic and culturally diverse casts.
The 5 Final Destination films grossed over $650 million worldwide, so I suppose that gives him some leverage!
I haven’t read any of Tyree’s books, so I can’t offer any informed commentary. But those who’ve read Leslie, I’d like to get your thoughts on the potential for a trilogy of films based on the novel. And also, who would you cast in any of the lead roles?