Earlier this year, in February, we alerted you to “NE Heartbreak The Movement” – a creative team that comprises of New Edition fans, who hoped to eventually produce a feature film that tells the group’s story. To help raise awareness for the project, The Movement put together what they called a “sneak peek” trailer, asking that, if you’re as much of a New Edition fan as they are, you should help spread the word about the collective’s efforts to bring the R&B group’s story to the big screen.
The film was to be directed by Bobby Huntley, an independent filmmaker from Atlanta, and produced by Nikki Wade. The rest of the production team includes cinematographer Calisha Prince; lighting designer Mark Alston; post-production designer and sound editor, Brandon Cordy & hair professional Jameelah Crump. All of them are part of a team of New Edition fans who spent 6 weeks auditioning for the cast, and another 6-week period of rehearsals, to shoot the fan-made trailer embedded below, which they said was created with no budget.
No word on where that project currently stands, 6 months later.
But what I do know is that, announced today, BET is planning a miniseries on New Edition, in collaboration with Jesse Collins and his production company (recall Collins signed a first-look deal with BET earlier this year).
The currently-untitled miniseries, which will air over 3 nights, will see New Edition members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant serve as consultants and executive producers. Bobby Brown was not mentioned in the press release announcing the project.
“It’s been a long time coming and that time is finally here! Now that we have signed the deal, New Edition’s journey will be captured in a three night miniseries to tell our life story through our very own eyes. We are happy to have New Edition Enterprises collaborate with BET Networks’ Debra Lee and Stephen Hill along with Jesse Collins Entertainment. From our beginning in the Orchard Park Projects in Boston to Hollywood and everything in between, just like The Temptations and The Jackson Five—we are ready to retrace our footsteps and show everyone how we got here. For the fans all over the world, this one’s for you,” says New Edition.
“Personally, my relationship with New Edition goes back to being among the first to play ‘Candy Girl’ on my college radio station, so I’m ecstatic that BET is the place where the guys wanted to come to tell their complete, dynamic story,” said Stephen Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks. “Everyone’s been waiting for the New Edition saga to be told in all its triumphs and heartbreaks and we can’t wait to bring it to the screen.”
Jesse Collins added: “New Edition’s music is woven into the fabric of our culture. When I brought the idea to BET years ago, I wanted to create a film that would tell the story of how New Edition emerged into one of the most important groups of its generation. I am so grateful that Stephen Hill and his team are giving Jesse Collins Entertainment the opportunity to chronicle the lives of these music icons.”
New Edition’s longtime manager Brooke Payne will also serve as a co-producer. With a script by Abdul Williams (“Lottery Ticket”), the untitled film is slated to begin shooting in early 2016. A director has not yet been selected. This will be the first scripted music-focused television movie to air on BET.
It doesn’t appear that the “NE Heartbreak The Movement” is affiliated with this BET miniseries in any way. But watch the trailer they put together to showcase what they hoped would become a feature film they produced.