Spike Lee is updating his 1985 feature film debut “She’s Gotta Have It,” as a half hour comedy for Showtime. Deadline broke the story, reporting that the project will “explore Lee’s unique and provocative points of view about race, gender, sexuality, relationships, and the gentrification in Brooklyn.”
The last hot button issue aside, this marks a big move for the 57-year-old Lee. As movies continue to move to the small screen in various forms, writers and directors formerly exclusive to film are transitioning with them. Lee has directed moves sent straight to TV before, including “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” and “Bad 25,” but this will be his first project written for television.
He also hasn’t seen much success, critically or commercially, in almost a decade. Lee’s last hit was “Inside Man” in 2006, and his directorial remake “Oldboy” was met with almost universal condemnation last year before bombing at the box office. Now seems like a good a time as any for Lee to revisit his roots in a new medium.
“She’s Gotta Have It” starred Tracy Camilla Johns as Nola, a woman dating three different men. Lee co-starred in the film as a fast-talking, immature suitor, but Nola’s representation of a sexually aware black woman putting herself on equal footing as the men of her time was what made the film stand out. Lee shot the film in 12 days for $175,000, and it went on to gross more than $7 million.