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Queen Latifah to star in all-black version of ‘Steel Magnolias’ in Atlanta on Lifetime

Queen Latifah is coming back to Atlanta yet again, this time for  Lifetime film adaptation of "Steel Magnolias." CREDIT: AP

Queen Latifah is coming back to Atlanta yet again, this time for Lifetime film adaptation of "Steel Magnolias." CREDIT: AP

Lifetime is doing an adaptation with black actors of the 1989 film “Steel Magnolias.” The film begins production in Atlanta next month and will be directed by Atlanta playwright and producer Kenny Leon. Lifetime plans to air the film later this year.

Queen Latifah will play M’Lynn, the role Sally Field played in the original film. The rest of the cast includes Golden Globe and Emmy winner Alfre Woodard as Ouiser (Shirley MacClaine’s role), Phylicia Rashad of “Cosby” fame as Clairee (Olympia Dukakis in the film), Grammy winner Jill Scott as Truvy (Dolly Parton in the film), Adepero Oduye as Annelle (Daryl Hannah in the film) and Condola Rashad as Shelby (Julia Roberts in the film).

Queen Latifah has been spending a lot of time in Atlanta lately. She co-starred in “Joyful Noise” with (coincidentally) Parton. That film was shot locally last year, came out in January and has grossed a respectable $31 million to date. She is also executive producer of VH1’s “Single Ladies,” which is in its second season of production and will return in May. She guest starred on the show last season and there’s certainly a chance she’ll pop up again this season.

For folks unfamiliar with the weepy, it’s about six women in Louisiana who congregate at Truvy’s beauty shop and go through a series of trials and tribulations. The film went on to earn more than $83 million in the movie theaters and is beloved by millions of women (and a fair share of men, too).

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

80 comments Add your comment

Mercedes S.

March 20th, 2012
9:36 am

Adepero (no “i”) Oduye was very good in last year’s “Pariah”.

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
9:51 am

I like the cast in those roles, especially Alfre Woodard (who I absolutely adore) playing Shirley McLaine’s role. I can already visualize her eye roll. Phyllicia Rashad playing Olympia Dukakis will be just as enchanting.

Brittany

March 20th, 2012
10:28 am

This is a travesty. Awful decision. Way to ruin a classic, Leon. Would anyone like to boycott production with me?

Gulfwatersgirl

March 20th, 2012
10:33 am

I agree Brittany. This was a classic movie and the way this reads “all black cast” ? What, why do we have to remake this as a black movie? Perhaps we should remake The Color Purple with all white cast. No disrespect here to the the cast. They are great but this movie does not need a remake. Period!

Nicole

March 20th, 2012
10:34 am

Magnolia’s is one of my favorite movies! I am sure these ladies will do the original justice. I just hope Alfre can pull off the “mean” role cause Shirley was awesome.

anonymous

March 20th, 2012
10:39 am

I’m gonna disagree with you Pitchy. Alfre Woodard is way overused. It’s like she’s the ONLY female they think about when casting somebody for a role like that. sort of like how Danny Glover seems to be the ONLY actor they think about when casting for roles he plays. Phylicia Rashad doesn’t have the acting goods for a feature film. Oh wait, this is for Lifetime. In that case, she should be fine.

Now, what about the Jackson character?

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
10:45 am

“Alfre Woodard is way overused” – now, that’s funny. With a talent like Alfre Woodard, she wasn’t getting a lot of acting jobs. Just of late, I have seen her in more and more films, but there was a dry spell there for a moment. So, if you think she’s “way overused,” I am thankful and I bet she is too.

PINEAPPLES!!!!

March 20th, 2012
10:46 am

This film does NOT need a remake. Why not make it into a stage play maybe even a musical! Heck, I should be a producer!

Sam-A

March 20th, 2012
10:48 am

Another movie that does NOT need to be remade – the first one was fabulous. But it is a good cast.

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
10:48 am

From where I sit, none of the black actresses are “way overused.”

However, I do agree that certain movies do not need to be “redone.” West Side Story is my all time favorite musical, and I can’t imagine them revamping that with an all black cast. It probably goes both ways with all whites doing something that was all black and all black doing something that was all white. No doubt one probably does it more than others, but it’s been done and will continue to be done. If the movie is messed up as a result of this, still doesn’t take away from the classic known as the original.

Seriously

March 20th, 2012
10:49 am

Ok, I love all of these women, excluding the last two, who I have never seen act, BUT I think they should leave well enough alone. Steel Magnolias is one of those movies that you DON’T remake. Especially as a Lifetime movie, which coincidentally aired the tragedy of the woman we know as Fantasia. I am flabbergasted that they even THOUGHT it would be ok. How about remaking Soul Plane? This is destined to be as much of a disappointment as the previous movie named. lol In case you’re wondering, yes, I am black. Just my opinion. (shrug)

Sam-A

March 20th, 2012
10:51 am

Hey, Pitchy – this where you’ve been hiding? come back – we’re (Idol folks) at the “Voice” thread from last night.

and, hmmmm – guess there are a number of “A” ’s in “Pretty…..” eh?! I knew that gal was “A”, but figured there had to be more than one to cover all that ground and activity.

Kar

March 20th, 2012
10:53 am

I would’ve thought Latifah would’ve been the natural choice for Truvee, she’s got such a warm character. From an acting standpoint, the M’lynn is probably a more interesting choice. Plus, she’s already played the hairdresser from the Barbershop franchise.

I like Alfre, glad that someone didn’t automatically go for Whoopi in her usual “wacky” character role. Woodward’s got this inate sense of dignity that’s often over looked in that role. Not sure that I can see the chemistry with Rashad but we’ll have to see.

Kirk

March 20th, 2012
10:55 am

This reminds me of the remake of the Honeymooners, with Cedric The Entertainer.

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
10:57 am

@Sam-A – LOL…haven’t been hiding. After the little blowup with Rickster, I seemed to have been sent to timeout for almost an hour before being able to post again. I’m here and on the blog talking about DWTS last night. Not many people are posting there. Found this blog and although I like the cast, I agree Steel Magnolias doesn’t need to be remade.

Now, Pineapples is onto something. A play sounds better. As long as PDiddy isn’t cast, it should fare well (lololol).

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
10:57 am

Oh, you guys are at The Voice Thread….didn’t know that.

aaaaa

March 20th, 2012
11:06 am

Enter your comments here

vladamir sonovabitch

March 20th, 2012
11:13 am

billy bob

March 20th, 2012
11:14 am

never understood why you can have all black this and that but would be an uproar if you tried to have an all white anything

Ackshun

March 20th, 2012
11:19 am

Hey let’s remake “Roots” with an all white cast. How about Daniel Radcliffe as Kunta Kinte! I can’t believe someone actually put some cash behind this (and I am black BTW) but with so many good storys to tell in our own community, why remake someone else’s?

Kar

March 20th, 2012
11:19 am

They also didn’t need to remake “Can’t Buy Me Love” either. Or the first one for that matter.

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
11:26 am

never understood why you can have all black this and that but would be an uproar if you tried to have an all white anything – WOW, this must be a trick question.

Wasn’t it in the news just last year, that some school wanted an All White Prom!

ThreeFounders

March 20th, 2012
11:28 am

@billy bob all white casts happen every single day. There is never an uproar because it is a common trend in Hollywood, so I’m not sure what you mean. All black casts are the vast minority. I, however, feel that this is a story that should be left alone. Not everything needs to be remade with a “black” version. This may be anOther Hollywood experiment for something bigger, like Redtails. Time will tell.

rod

March 20th, 2012
11:28 am

Ackshun great idea. Can we make it more real and tap people like Marc Cherry did Nicolete Sheridan. Ackshun you are selected to play Kunta. Can wait to see massa touch you with leather lololololool

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
11:28 am

But, other than that, all white this or all white that doesn’t happen.

George

March 20th, 2012
11:33 am

Great now I am waiting for the Oriental version!!! we have the black and white version…

You Never Even Call Me By My Name

March 20th, 2012
11:34 am

I absolutely love The Queen and I’m a middle-aged white guy. She is very seductive.

Don't do it!

March 20th, 2012
11:35 am

WHY would anyone want to remake such a classic movie?!?! It’s like remaking Forrest Gump…JUST SAY NO!!!!

Freedom

March 20th, 2012
11:36 am

Don’t like it…….. Don’t watch it!!! There are so many “All White” casts out there I can’t believe this is even an issue. I think it should be an interesting adaptation after all it is just entertainment!!!! Sheesh!!! BTW Roots is not a fictional story it is biograohical and by non means could be done with an all white cast, but I’d love to see it!!! :)

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
11:37 am

“@billy bob all white casts happen every single day. There is never an uproar because it is a common trend in Hollywood, so I’m not sure what you mean.”

Thank you.

Pure Comedy!!!

Freedom

March 20th, 2012
11:37 am

Excuse the typos!!

Shimoko

March 20th, 2012
11:39 am

I want to see an all-Japanese version of “Grease”.

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
11:40 am

“BTW Roots is not a fictional story it is biograohical and by non means could be done with an all white cast, but I’d love to see it!!! ” Me too because everyone in the movie Roots were psychologically affected by their roles!

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
11:44 am

NO, Shimoko, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO :wink:

Sid Vicious

March 20th, 2012
11:44 am

Could you imagine if somebody remade “A Clockwork Orange” with an all black cast. What is wrong with people…

Tim

March 20th, 2012
11:49 am

Lifetime…where men are always evil and women are always victims.

Brittany

March 20th, 2012
11:52 am

I defy anyone to recite the “Cup’a” recipe as beautifully as Olympia Dukakis did. This is just a shame!

NeNe Leakes Fan

March 20th, 2012
11:54 am

I am looking forward to seeing this film. Especially seeing the dynamic between Phylicia Rashad (who will play Claree) and her daughter Condola (who will play Shelby).

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
11:56 am

@Tim – you must be watching Lifetime at the wrong times, because most of the Lifetime movies I see, the woman is a conniving, backstabbing, one flew over the coocoo’s nest, souless person.

KAR

March 20th, 2012
12:05 pm

Are you people on crack. Probably 90% of movies are all white. But then it’s a problem when black people want to make an all black anything??? Get a life. By the way I hate the majority of all remakes regardless of color.

Reality

March 20th, 2012
12:08 pm

FINALLY! THIS PRESSING NEED HAS FINALLY BEEN RECTIFIED!

We can all now sleep comfortably at night.

JTesla

March 20th, 2012
12:31 pm

Maybe they should make an all-black version of The Good, the Bad and The Ugly or maybe an all-black version of Die Hard. Stop making these chick flicks, except for Pretty Woman, that one is ok. Heck it could probably use an all-black version staring Gabrielle Union and Will Smith, oh and instead of being a corporate takeover guy Will Smith fights aliens. If you really want to match the original perhaps replace Smith with Dennis Haysbert or with Ice Cube, because Ice Cube is in everything else anyway.

Donna P.

March 20th, 2012
12:46 pm

Everyone has seen this movie and knows the ending. Why bother?

sharon

March 20th, 2012
12:57 pm

Why can’t she keep the cast, use her imagine and write a different movie for them. I am sick of all the remakes.

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
1:09 pm

I know I don’t know you guys, but can you please vote on this essay. My daughter is trying to win scholarship money….thank you.

http://www.wyzant.com/scholarships/v2/Essay39569-Ellenwood-GA.aspx

lulu

March 20th, 2012
1:14 pm

@ Freedome Steel Magnolias is NOT fiction. It’s based on a true story. No need for a remake.

Betty Crocker

March 20th, 2012
1:30 pm

I don’t think they should remake the movie either, but I’ll watch it..I love Queen Latifah and Alfre Woodard..As for Alfre being overused. I either don’t watch the right movies or something, because I don’t see her in that many movies..As for Phylicia Rashad, I’ve always liked her in most everything that she has done also..As for the others, haven’t seen them in anything, but I’m sure they are great..

Moria Moore

March 20th, 2012
1:33 pm

Yo, though it will be a remake it will be completely different! They are going to completely change it up, and we need more BLACK films besides Tyler Perry! This is a HUUUGGEE risk they’re taking that can be a huge milestone in black films, they have no choice but to be amazing….it’s gonna be dope ya’ll, dont be so close minded!!!! :)

gunga din

March 20th, 2012
1:38 pm

when do we get the ALL white production of “Raisin in the Sun; Cabin in the Sky; or Porgy & Bess”

Pitchy

March 20th, 2012
1:46 pm

@Betty Crocker – it’s not you, it’s anonymous Seems like she’s watching the same movie over and over again with Alfre Woodard in because we know that woman has not gotten a lot of work in the past, and is just now coming back to the big screen. And, thanks to Tyler Perry, so are a lot of other black actresses.