UPDATE 6/17/2015: I received a press release today that made this official. “I’m pleased to executive produce and star in Lionsgate and Codeblack’s incredible adaptation of Omar Tyree’s iconic Flyy Girl trilogy,” said Sanaa Lathan. “So many people have grown up on this series and I’m looking forward to bringing Tracy Ellison’s story to life through film. It’s my hope to continue to help bring diverse stories to the big screen.” Also, Geoffrey Fletcher (“Precious”) will pen the script. The original June 11 post follows below…
I say “it appears” because this isn’t news that’s been officially announced – at least, not that I’m aware of (maybe I just missed it?). This morning, I received a Google alert (I have Google alerts set up for just about every black actor and filmmaker for obvious reasons) that led me to the Tracking Board website, with an “exclusive” on Codeblack Films’ adaptation of author Omar Tyree’s trilogy bestseller “Flyy Girl,” saying that Sanaa Lathan will star in the film.
I immediately searched the web for any other mention of this, and found just one article – an interview Lathan gave to The Daily Beast in November of 2013, just before “The Best Man Holiday” was to open in theaters, which included the following sentences: “After realizing the value of her experience in the industry, Lathan decided to take matters into her own hands, developing a script with Lionsgate Codeblack based on ‘Flyy Girl,’ a book trilogy with a big influence in the African American community by Omar Tyree, in which she will be starring and producing. ‘This is me trying to have a little more control.'”
So there you have it…
This was about a year after Codeblack’s initial announcement that it had acquired the rights to the New York Times best-selling novel.
And earlier this year, 2015, it was announced that Effie Brown and her company Duly Noted Inc. will oversee development of the project, alongside Codeblack Films’ Jeff Clanagan and Quincy Newell.
Industry veteran Christina Sibul is also part of the development team, with Nicole Jefferson-Asher penning the script.
The story explores the journey of Tracey Ellison, a successful businesswoman and workaholic who believes that money is always the key to happiness. In the midst of her life journey, Ellison is forced to reinvent herself and rethink her relationships, her career and her definition of success.
So, assuming Lathan’s revelation to The Daily Beast in late 2013 still stands, and the Tracking Board exclusive is fact, then I suppose we’ll be seeing Lathan on the big screen as Tracey Ellison, some time in the future.
Up next for her is the Sony/Screen Gems thriller, “The Perfect Guy,” in which she co-stars with Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut.
Further out, look for her in the sequel to “Now You See Me,” currently titled “Now You See me 2,” playing an FBI agent on the hunt for the magician troupe known as the Four Horseman, a year later, as they take on a new dangerous heist for a new enemy. Last fall, she wrapped filming on the Sundance Lab-developed feature “Ad Inexplorata” – a curious sci-fi project in which she plays the head of a spaceship fleet on a one-way trip to Mars. She’s joined by Mark Strong and Luke Wilson in the film.