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Who Should Be In The All-Black Remake of Steel Magnolias?

We’re not quite sure how to react to the news that Lifetime Television wants to remake Steel Magnolias with an African-American cast.

On the one hand Magnolias is a camp classic and you can’t manufacture camp. It has to happen organically. While we found Todd Haynes’ remake of Mildred Pierce…interesting, for example, it was almost a completely different animal from the 1945 original.

On the other hand, under all that hairspray and deep-fried wisdom, Magnolias gets to some deeper truths about motherhood, friendship and the South. In the right hands (Tony nominee Kenny Leon is attached to direct) and adapted to the nuances of Southern African-American culture, a new version could bring something exciting to the table.

On the third hand (yes we have three), it’d be disastrous if they kept the script intact. Lets not pretend the experiences of African-American women in Louisiana, even today, are the same as their white counterparts.

Now comes the fun part—the casting!

Angela Basset is a shoo-in for M’Lynn (Sally Fields’ role). She’s even working with Leon on Broadway right now in The Mountaintop.

You gotta have Loretta Devine in there somewhere—it’s practically a commandment. We see her as amiable widow Clairee Belcher (Olympia Dukakis in the movie).

She’s too young but with some latex and makeup, Vanessa Williams would be a killer Louisa “Ouiser” Boudreaux (Shirley MacLaine’s role). We’ve seen her play prickly to perfection before.

Have some better suggestions? What about Shelby, Truvy and Annelle? Weigh in below in the comments.

But first, our animated version of M’Lynn’s heartbreaking cemetery scene. Enjoy!


On:           Oct 12, 2011
Tagged: , , , ,
    • Sam Wheat

      Tyler Perry, Wesley Snipes, and Eddie Murphy.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 11:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Al

      I guess a better question is, why?

      Oct 12, 2011 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darling Nikki

      Jennifer Hudson – Julia Roberts Role
      Anthony Mackie – Husband/Dylan McDermott Role
      Regina Hall – Darryl Hannah role
      Whoopi Goldberg – Shirley Mac Role
      Loretta Devine – Dolly Parton Role
      I agree Angela Bassett – Sally Field Role
      Don Cheadle – Tom Skerrit role
      Phylicia Rashad – Olympia Dukakis

      Those are my 2 cents if they’re going to do a remake.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito

      I’m sure this will please Michele Obama.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe

      I think it’s a great idea.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @Al: “I guess a better question is, why?”

      Why not? If handled right, it could be very entertaining. I’m intrigued by the idea.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LukeM

      For Olypmia’s role I would go with Nichelle Nichols.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ray

      This is bull shit. Get an original idea and stop screwing up the classics.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James

      @Sam Wheat: Is there something you’re tying to imply Sam?

      Oct 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FreddyMertz

      Shelby-Zoe Saldana
      Truvy-Niecy Nash
      Ouiser-Diana Ross
      Clariee-Leretta Divine/Oprah
      M’Lynn-Angela Bassett
      Annelle-Jennifer Hudson
      Jackson-Boris Kodjoe
      Drum-Denzel Washington
      Spud-only because he’s in everything, Samuel L Jackson

      Oct 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonny

      My suggestion for the casting:

      Angela Basset or Debbie Allen as M’Lynn Eatenton (Sally Fields’ role)
      Patti LaBelle as Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton’s role)
      Jenifer Lewis as Louisa “Ouiser” Boudreaux (Shirley MacLaine’s Role)
      Raven-Symoné as Annelle Dupuy Desoto (Daryl Hannah’s Role)
      Phylicia Rash?d as Clairee Belcher (Olympia Dukakis’ role)
      Zoe Saldana or Rosario Dawson as Shelby Eatenton Latcherie (Julia Roberts’ Role)

      Oct 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian

      This has DISASTER written all over it.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James

      I have never seen this movie,what is it about?

      Oct 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi

      remakes can be interesting – Steel Magnolia’s is a very specific slice of White Southern Experience. a film that takes on the plot structure but filters it through the sociological realities of the Black Southern Experience could actually be interesting.

      unless it’s just one of those “let’s slap a new demographic on a property and make money from them” hackjobs.

      i still don’t see why one can’t just write a new story, but if they used this property to make a pointed flip-side to the White story it could actually prove to be interesting.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aiden

      @christopher di spirito: Why? Because she’s black?

      Oct 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aunt Sharon

      @Al: It started life as a play, and continues as a play. It would be a real shame if the movie killed that. The only thing camp about it is Clairee’s wisecracks (admittedly great.) As I’d rather see the divine Margo Martindale’s Truvy than Dolly Parton’s, fine as it was, I’d like to see any new take on the material. As for casting, how about Wanda Sykes for either Ouiser or Clairee? And let’s not forget Mo’nique. That girl’s got chops, too.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Meowzer

      This is my favorite movie of all time (my cat is even named Magnolia). Leave it the hell alone! Why must every movie be ripe for a remake. Sometimes a classic is just that… a classic.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric in Chicago

      Hope it’s not like the remake of THE WOMEN. They took an excellent movie and turned it into sh*t.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      Shelby, – Paula Prentis,

      and lets let the big girls have some fun and get Gabriel Sidabe for Anelle.

      Lynn Whitfield as Maline

      Monique as Truvy

      Nichelle Nicholes as Clairie

      Oct 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TJ

      I hope that Fantasia beast stays far away from this.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Catmann

      Let me first mention right up front … I am black!
      Now, I say cast NO ONE! Why oh why must there be a remake to start with let alone an all black remake of this gem of a movie? I totally understand and agree that there is a need and want for more/better black female film roles but this is not the way to go about it. Remakes rarely and I mean raaarely live up to originals and this black remake is just going to turn it into a black vs the white version and if you chose one over the other you may get labeled racist depending upon what your skin tone is. Does anyone rememeber The Wizard of Oz black remake The WIz? Well, im sure Diana Ross and MJ (before he died) wanted to forget about it also. What’s next, an all Asian cast remake of Waiting to Exhale? Bad bad idea!!!

      Oct 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Catmann

      @Meowzer: AMEN!!!

      Oct 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice

      Olympia Dukakis – not the most dynamic person to interview at SF Pride this past year. Maybe it would have helped had I known who she was ; )

      Olympia Dukakis Chats With Jeff 4 Justice

      Oct 12, 2011 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Evji108

      Why Oh Why dear God does everything have to be re-made to death? Where is the originality in this world? There are a million stories waiting to be told but since that one made money the first time around it has to be barfed up again in another color. barf.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @Catmann: I do remember the Wiz + I have no interest in forgetting about one of my favorite ever film soundtracks, thankyouverymuch.

      I even created the set designs (based on some of my original artwork) for our school production of The Wiz. Loves it.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cutting Edge

      @Brian: I bet your FACE has disaster written all over it.

      Oct 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Catmann

      @fredo777: Sorry, didnt mean to insult your fav soundtrack. The movie did have moments of greatness (if only a few) such as the song’ “Home” or MJ’s “You Cant Win”?!?! But overall, a good soundtrack alone cant carry a movie and watching a 40 something year old Diana Ross playing a role that was 1/2 her age didnt win me nor most critics over. Again, just leave classics alone!

      Oct 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @Catmann: lol Yeah, I know the movie had its flaws, I was just being silly. But I did enjoy it, though. And I loved the soundtrack enough that I wouldn’t want the movie to have never existed. My only regret is that when I tried out for the role of The Wiz in that same school production, I didn’t get it b/c my grades sucked + our school had a policy of only giving roles to the best students. Laaame. :[

      Oct 13, 2011 at 1:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caleb in SC

      @ Cutting Edge: Jesus, you are a freaking douchebag! What? Are you in the third grade or something?

      Oct 13, 2011 at 6:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JoeyO'H

      Hollywood no longer has creativity. If it’s not a 3-D movie, it’s a bad remake.

      Oct 13, 2011 at 8:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vinny

      Well, I could never make it through The Wizard of Oz…it’s so Boring!!! But I watch The Wiz everytime I catch it on. And I could never make it through more than twenty minutes all of the overacting in Steel Magnolias, so I would give this remake a watch.

      Oct 13, 2011 at 9:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Janet H.

      I’ll consider watching it only if they leave Jennifer Hudson out of it.

      Oct 13, 2011 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777

      @Janet H.: Funny, b/c I’ll be that much more likely to watch it if they include my girl J-Hud.

      Oct 13, 2011 at 11:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jonjon1968

      When Steel Magnolias first came out, it was typical that a group of white women in that part of the country would not have friends of various races. In this day and age, I fail to see the purpose of having an all African-American cast. Why not have a Latina, Asian-American, African-American, Anglo-American and whoever else in each part? They could cast each role as a different ethnicity. Hell, Annelle or Truvy could even be a gay man (if that’s not too stereotypical – I think it would be a fun role to play). I guess I am naive to believe that we should be bringing people together and not still segregating them. Besides, wouldn’t that appeal more to general audiences and not just one demographic?

      Oct 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Catmann

      @jonjon1968: I am so with you on this. A multi-race version would be much more 2012 and interesting than a rehashing of so called seperate but equal representation of the ’80s. I still dont like the idea of a remake but a mutli-race version would at least make me give a chance!

      Oct 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EL

      I know there’s lots of discussion here about whether to make the movie or not….but as it seems like it’s kind of a done deal (about which I have some ambivalence….but wouldn’t be totally closed off to it—-the original is one of my favorite movies!)….I’ll throw one other black actress’ name into the ring here: Sheryl Lee Ralph. I love her…..I don’t know what character she’d be best as although I suspect she’d make a pretty fierce Truvy

      Oct 24, 2011 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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