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 (which you can watch above), asking for your help in spreading the word about the collective’s efforts to bring the R&B group’s story to the big screen. And, as I recall, your reactions to the “sneak peek” were mostly very positive and encouraging for the team.
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 was to include 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.
Six months after their above campaign, just a couple of weeks ago, BET announced its plans for a miniseries on New Edition, in collaboration with producer 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.
Jesse Collins said at the time: “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.
The “NE Heartbreak The Movement” are not affiliated with this BET miniseries in any way, and, after the BET announcement of its own New Edition project, director Bobby Huntley released a video message providing an update on what’s been happening with his project since the movement’s February campaign announcement – fan reactions to their “sneak peek,” the many industry folks who reached out to him in encouragement, the lessons he’s learned, and more. It’s all done very humbly. He also speaks briefly about the BET miniseries, wishing that project well, but still hopeful that he’s able to eventually get his feature film on the group made.