Lifetime has assembled the cast of its Steel Magnolias reboot. Queen Latifah has signed on to star in and executive produce the original movie, an updated, contemporary TV adaptation of the play and 1989 film. She is joined on the all-black cast by Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad, Jill Scott, Adepero Oduye and Rashad’s daughter, Condola Rashad.
Produced by Sony Pictures Television, Steel Magnolias chronicles the lives and friendship of six women in Louisiana: M’Lynn (Queen Latifah), Ouiser (Woodard), Clairee (Phylicia Rashad), Truvy (Scott), Annelle (Oduye) and Shelby (Condola Rashad). 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. In the 1989 movie, the roles were played by Sally Field (M’Lynn), Dolly Parton (Truvy), Shirley MacLaine (Ouiser), Darryl Hannah (Annelle), Olympia Dukakis (Clairee), and Julia Roberts (Shelby). The remake, which is slated to begin production next month in Atlanta for a debut later this year, will be executive produced by Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Latifah, her producing partner Shakim Compere and Shelby Stone. Kenny Leon, who previously helmed ABC’s TV adaptation of the play A Raisin In The Sun — also from Sony TV, Zadan and Meron — is directing from a script by Sally Robinson (Iron Jawed Angels) based on the play and feature screenplay by Robert Harling. “The caliber of talent associated with this film is astounding and falls in line with our strategy to make Lifetime a first stop for the industry’s best both in front of and behind the camera,” said Lifetime’s president and general manager Nancy Dubuc. “Queen Latifah, Phylicia, Alfre, Jill, Adepero and Condola are some of the most celebrated women in music, film, television and stage — and we could not be more thrilled and honored for them to bring Robert Harling’s poignant story about the strength of women to a whole new generation.” The film reunites Queen Latifah with Zadan and Meron after co-starring in two movies produced by the duo, Chicago and Hairspray, the former earning her an Oscar nomination. It also expands Queen Latifah’s relationship with Sony TV, where she is developing a syndicated talk show. Additionally, Steel Magnolias marks a reunion for A Raisin In The Sun star Phylicia Rashad with Sony TV, Zadan Meron and Leon. Meanwhile, her daughter Condola starred in Leon’s latest Broadway production, Stick Fly.