Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard & Phylicia Rashad Lead The Cast Of Lifetime’s ‘Steel Magnolias’ Remake
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.
- Alfre Woodard's talent renders me incapable of being a witty R1
- Girl, those names will not fly for a group of contemporary black women. "Shelby?" Please.
- So all the characters will now sound like black drag queens, unlike the original, where they all sound like white drag queens.
- Shouldn't it be called "Black Dahlias"?
- Condola Rashad is a wonderful actress beleive it or not.
- [quote]So all the characters will now sound like black drag queens, unlike the original, where they all sound like white drag queens.
What's the difference? They all want to sound like as sassy black woman.
- Will Tyler Perry direct? And which role will Sheriff Shepard play?
- Queen Latifah is always involved. Where's Jennifer Hudson, she's usually a part of these things too.
- It's a great cast for a tv movie.
- I could see Miss Ross in the Julia Roberts role.
- What? No role for Mo'Nique?
- White gay Jews forcing remakes with fat Black Women.
- Poor Whitney! If she hadn't died, she could have played the bitchy Olympia Dukakis role.
- Same names, different script. Where's Anika Noni Rose? Sanaa Lathan? Kerry Washington?
I wonder who will they push for an Emmy.
- The director is gorgeous! Anybody know him?
- How about a role for Victoria Rowell? She's been out of work since Dru went off a cliff.
- Cosign r5.
Whether she's had it easier due to her mother's connections notwithstanding, Condola Rashad has put in the work and is the real deal as an actress.
I've seen her onstage in NYC twice and she nailed it both times.
I have much more respect for someone who has the connections and who wants to do the work, instead of a Rumer Willis or whoever who just clearly wants to be a "star."
- Condola Rashad is beautiful!
- Sorry, but this is racist. It should be a mixed cast, which is what the original movie should have been. It's 2012 and we're still doing segregation? Ridiculous. If you want a corrective to the film, then cast mostly African-American actresses with some roles for other actresses. But an all-black cast equals 'Hollywood is still segregating entertainment'.
I guess at the very least it's not about how whites were primarily behind the civil rights movement while black women passively baked their shit into pies.
- Alfre Woodard is one of my favorite actresses. She is so damn talented and I wish she would work more. She was the best thing about 'Star Trek: First Contact,' which you don't even have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy.
- R19 A white cast has done it brilliantly. There's no need to recast it with more caucasians. Besides, there's not a white actress working today that could do justice to the Darryl and Julia roles.
This is great casting. Rashad is one of the finest actresses in the theater today, and I'm excited that her daughter seems to be following in her footsteps.
Will Rashad finally be able to win her much deserved Emmy for once and for all?
- Can't the darkies come up with their own material.
- She really was good in First Contact, r20, and she looked like she had a good time making it.
Similarly she was fantastic in Passion Fish, one of John Sayles' better films. She is the sort of person who seems to take great pleasure in her work and she's good at it so it's a pleasure to watch her.
- If they're gonna make em Blacks only, fine.
It'll be the same way in the theatre and they'll all be talkin' and textin'.
- R23, agree about Passion Fish. Both Alfre Woodard and Mary McDonnell are fantastic in it. And David Strathairn was very sexy!
- R19: Every movie and play does not need to be a trip through the "It's A Small World After All" pavilion at Disneyland.
In real life, tight knit friendships are often between people of the same race. It shouldn't be taboo to show that dramatically sometimes.
- Well, I hope scriptwriter Sally Robinson rectifies Robert Harling's error of attributing the quote "If you don't have something nice to say about someone come sit by me" to Clairee rather than Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who had a pillow sewn with that quote.
- [quote]I wonder who will they push for an Emmy.
Woodard. Ouiser is exactly the kind of role they like to reward established actresses for playing.
Which is kind of a shame, because for all my intended snark about this been unnecessary, this is still a hell of a cast. I'll predict Jill Scott being the one that everybody roots for, just because I was really surprised when she turned out to be a hell of an actress.
The Voice of the Night
- Oh, please, R21. Emma Stone would be FAR better than Darryl Hannah was as Annelle. I forgot-why was Meg Ryan replaced by Julia Roberts?
- [quote]why was Meg Ryan replaced by Julia Roberts?
The Teamsters union contract specified that all members would be allowed to fuck a cast member.
- I find this painfully, intentionally racist.
If any classic film made with a black cast were remade for the sole fact of having white people play the roles, it would be called out for what it is.
I don't understand the trend of black people remaking iconic films with all black casts. Why?
- If I wanted to see negros I'd go to the Piggly Wiggly!
- "Emma Stone would be FAR better than Darryl Hannah was as Annelle."
Stone already did her outsider in despair performance in THE HELP. Meanwhile, she wasn't even nominated for the oscar, but that blonde who jiggled her tits for ten minutes got one.
Yet she's FAR better than Darryl Hannah.
- Check out EW's coverage....they think Latifah is a man, baby.
"Queen Latifah will also executive produce the project alongside Smash‘s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, with whom she worked during his Oscar-nominated turn in 2003′s Chicago."
- This sounds dreadful.
- Julia Roberts is a cunt, a self satisfied, bland cunt.
- AGAIN with Queen Latifah doin' black women's hair?
I already saw this movie when she did it and it was called "Beauty Shop".
They should rename this remake "For Colored Girls Who Need Themselves Some Relaxer When the Jherri Curl Is No Longer Enough...." and it should be directed (or at least re-written) by Chris Rock.
- [quote]why was Meg Ryan replaced by Julia Roberts?
They didn't feel that Meg sucked hard enough as an actress, so they went with Julia.
- If Latifah is playing the Sally Field role, the only way this thing is going to be believable is if the Tom Skerritt role is being played by Maya Angelou.
- Why re-do this movie? Why not just do a movie about black women in the South?
- Now this could be promising. Granted, I'll more-than-likely just end up downloading it & watching it online because I just don't find the thrill in going to the movie theater too often.
But, all three leads are actually talented actresses in my opinion. They're seasoned, definitely have experience.
Finally something other than Tyler Perry/Precious-sort of films.
- [quote]Sorry, but this is racist.
But you call [italic]everything[/italic] racist, so why should anyone care since that's all you ever say, day and night, night and day?
- Where in that EW mention are they referring to Latifah as a man? They're actually referring to the other two producers who she's worked with before.
- [quote]AGAIN with Queen Latifah doin' black women's hair? I already saw this movie when she did it and it was called "Beauty Shop".
Latifah is playing the Sally Field character, M'Lynn. The Dolly Parton character is being played by Jill Scott, so she'll be the one doing everyone's hair.
- This airs tonight on LIFETIME - 9 PM EST / 8 PM CST.
- Latifah's the one with the brown football helmet.
- I'm sure it'll suck as much as the original.
- Watching it. What does everyone think of the performances? What about the Shelby diabetic attack scene?
- Alfre's got the Maggie Smith part.
- You mean Shirley MacLaine.
- no, I mean Maggie Smith.
- Wrong movie, R51
- Khandi Alexander would have been a better M'lynn.
- I thought Queen Latifah did a nice job, though it was hard to get used to her being the mom of a 20-something child.
I always like Alfre Woodard but she didn't make me laugh like Shirley MacLaine in that part.
- All black cast or not, this was the reader's digest version of this piece....I would rather have have seen this exact cast do a stage version of the play
- They tried to do an all white version of the Color Purple with Reese Witherspoon as Celie, but people kept applauding whenever she got smacked around by her husband!
- Does Jill play the Dolly part? No way should they have given the part of Shelby to somebody!s daughter...
- I agree r57. I thought the casting was good except for Shelby.
- CCH Pounder should have been in there to give the movie a little moxie.
At least Mrs Huxtable didn't bring her sister with her to the auditions.
I never thought I'd say this, but Daryl Hannah was Bette Davis compared to Adepero Oduye in the Annelle role.
- I really enjoyed it. Kenny Leon, the director is an Atlanta resident.
I thought Phylicia stole the movie, right from under Ms. Woodward.
- All-Black Tea with Mussolini!
All-Black The Women!
- Not familiar with Jill Scott's work but I wish they would have hired an older actress that gets less work like Angela Bassett.
- Did Rip (Truvy's husband) ever do anything nice for her at the end like in the original movie?
- I wanted to enjoy it, but it really was boring. Jill Scott offered nothing. Queen Latifah needs to learn the difference between sad face and angry face.
- I thought Phylicia's daughter was miscast as Shelby, too. She didn't have enough...juice (pardon the pun)...for the role.
- A lot of misconceptions and disjoint points in this thread.
Stating that Emma Stone did not get nominated for The Help does not make Darryl Hannah a better choice than her for Annelle (Hannah has never gotten nominated for anything in her life either).
As indicated before, Latifah is not playing the hairdresser, so all comparisons to Beauty Shop or whatever are moot.
She IS playing a mother in her forties-fifties, and not too many in this thread seem to care how terrible and unfit she is for that role, giving her one-note performance a pass, and not once mentioning that her role as an executive producer must have had everything to do with her casting. I just don't buy her as someone who's loved and cared for a child for over 20 years!
All black casts were not born out of racism, they were born out of affirmative action, when blacks couldn't even get cast as Jesus or Cleopatra.
- I thought it was nice. It wasn't the joyous cartoon the earlier version was, but it had some good moments.
I thought Rashad brought more gravitas to the role of Clairee which might not be a good thing, but it worked fine.
Alfre Woodard just wasn't cranky enough.
In a world without the Sally Field, et al., version this would have seemed funnier and more touching I think.
- If this is successful, hopefully they'll come out with an all-Latina version of "Steel Magnolias" in 2013 starring America Ferrera, Salma Hayak, and Charo; and the all-Asian version in 2014 starring Sandra Oh, Lucy Liu, and Margaret Cho.
Oh wait, maybe I'll just watch "Tortilla Soup" and "The Joy Luck Club" and call it good.
- Just watched this last night. It didn't strike me great or awful.
But unlike some of the other posters I did think a highlight was Jill Scott. I'd never seen her act before outside a video (I do like some of her music), but I could see her handling an emotional role. She played Truvy as an extremely sweet-natured girl. Her performance (over Dolly's) made me a little more heartbroken for the character when her husband doesn't treat her well.
Similar to Daryl Hannah years ago, I thought the actress that played Annelle was the most wooden.
- R69 I agree with you about Jill Scott. She also stayed in character really well and kept things up nicely with that country accent she decided to give the character.
- The remake was well-done!
However, after reading the responses this morning to an op-ed piece in "The New York Times" about the acceptance of LGBT persons in the South, I wish the remake had changed the dialogue about Clairee's gay nephew.
Read the responses and the op-ed, and see what you think...