Thirty years after Spike Lee burst into the American indie scene with the 1986’s She’s Gotta Have It, the filmmaker is revisiting his debut feature on the small screen. Netflix has given a 10-episode series order to She’s Gotta Have It, a contemporary update of Lee’ groundbreaking film, which helped usher in the American independent film movement of the 1980s and paved the way for other black filmmakers.
She’s Gotta Have It centers on Nola Darling, a Brooklyn-based artist in her late twenties struggling to define herself and divide her time amongst her Friends, her Job and her Three Lovers: The Cultured Model, Greer Childs, The Protective Investment Banker, Jamie Overstreet and Da Original B-Boy Sneakerhead, Mars Blackmon.
Lee is set to direct all episodes of the series, which he created and executive produces with his producer wife Tonya Lewis Lee. Netflix is he studio.
Lee made his breakthrough with She’s Gotta Have It, which he shot in 12 days during the summer of ’85 on a shoestring budget. The film, starring Tracy Camilla Johns as a young, sexually independent Brooklynite who juggles three suitors (Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, Lee), signaled a change of how African Americans are portrayed in movies and ended up grossing $7,137,502 at the U.S. box office.
Here is how Lee reminiscences about making She’s Gotta Have It, the film’s significance and its migration to the small screen as a TV series in his own style and punctuation:
“SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT Has A Very Special Place In My Heart. We Shot This Film In 12 Days (2 Six Day Weeks) Way Back In The Back Back Of The Hot Summer Of 1985 For A Mere Total of $175,000. Funds That We Begged, Borrowed and Whatnot To Get That Money. This Is The 1st Official Spike Lee Feature Film Joint And Everything That We Have Been Blessed With In This Tough Business Of Film All Have Been Due To SGHI.
Now With The Passing (August 8th) Of The 30th Anniversary, It’s A Gift That Keeps On Giving. We Are Getting An Opportunity To Revisit These Memorable Characters Who Will Still Be Relevant And Avant Garde 3 Decades Later. With All That Said It Was My Wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, Producer In Her Own Right, Who Had The Vision To Take My Film From The Big Screen And Turn It Into An Episodic Series. It Had Not Occurred To Me At All. Tonya Saw It Plain As Day. I Didn’t.
We Are Hyped That NETFLIX Is Onboard With This Vision As Nola Darling, Mars Blackmon, Jamie Overstreet And Greer Childs DO DA DAMN THANG Now, Today In Da Republic Of Brooklyn, New York.
This marks the first TV series for Lee, who has been nominated twice for Oscar, for writing Do the Right Thing and documentary 4 Little Girls. In TV, he won two Emmys for his New Orleans documentary When the Levees Broke. Lee is repped by ICM Partners and attorneys Robert Strent and Larry Shire.
At Netflix, She’s Gotta Have It joins other movies getting series reboots, including Dear White People and Wet Hot American Summer.