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Original ‘Steel Magnolias’ Producer Files Suit To Stop Release Of All-Black Remake (Rights Issues)

Original 'Steel Magnolias' Producer Files Suit To Stop Release Of All-Black Remake (Rights Issues)

From a THR report: Victoria L. White, who was an executive producer (along with the late Ray Stark) of the original 1989 Steel Magnolias film that the upcoming all-black remake is based on, filed a lawsuit yesterday, against Lifetime Entertainment, A&E Networks and Sony Pictures Television, claiming that the an upcoming Lifetime TV movie was produced without her permission, or an agreement for the rights to remake the film.

The suit, (which you can read in full HERE) says the following:

– That White acquired rights that were the basis of the 1989 movie starring Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton and others, and that she developed it with Stark — who died in 2004 — and others.

– That in 1991 Sony acquired Rastar Productions, which was Stark’s company.

– That there was a 1992 CBS movie based on the same material and she was credited as a co-producer.

– That she is entitled to a producing credit on the new TV movie or series of movies and compensation of $5,000 per episode plus a $10,000 bonus, and a share of net profits.

– The defendants told White her rights to a TV version were limited to the 1992 TV movie, but she says that’s not the case, and that she is entitled to royalties on all future TV versions.

– She asks the court to stop the release of the new Lifetime movie unless she gets a screen credit and her compensation.

In the suit, White says that she was “shocked and dismayed” when she found out about the upcoming Lifetime remake of the same name.

Will she get what she asks for? Probably not. It’s unclear why she waited until 5 days before the film’s premiere to file this suit. We’ve been talking about the film since last year; surely she must have known it was coming.

The world premiere of Lifteime’s all-black cast remake of Steel Magnolias is set for this Sunday, October 7, at 9/8c.

The ensemble cast includes: Queen Latifah (she’s also executive producer) as M’Lynn, Alfre Woodard as Ouiser, Phylicia Rashad as Clairee, Jill Scott as Truvy, Adepero Oduye as Annelle and Rashad’s daughter, Condola Rashad as Shelby. 

The film is directed by Kenny Leon (ABC‘s A Raisin in The Sun, Broadway’s Fences and The Mountaintop), from a script adapted from the 1989 film screenplay by Sally Robinson.

Supporting each other through their triumphs and tragedies, they congregate at Truvy’s beauty shop to ponder the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children – and hair and nails – all the important topics that bring women together.

Lance GrossTory Kittles and Michael Beasley co-star.

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