Lifetime Adapting 'Steel Magnolias' With 'Hairspray' Duo

The female-skewing cable network is developing a telefilm based on the 1989 film with a contemporary take set to feature an African-American cast.
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Neil Meron and Craig Zadan

Lifetime could soon be looking for a new group of strong women.

The female-skewing cable network is developing a contemporary take on Robert Harling’s 1989 feature Steel Magnolias, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Hairspray’s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are on board to executive produce the project via their Storyline Entertainment shingle and Sony Pictures Television.

Lifetime’s telefilm would feature an African-American cast stepping into the big-screen roles of Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah, Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis.

Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) would direct the project should the it move forward at the network.

Zadan and Meron’s take would, like the play and subsequent film, be set in Louisiana and revolve around a group of female friends in the present day.

In addition to producing Hairspray and Chicago, Meron and Zadan also are exec producing NBC’s midseason musical drama Smash, starring Debra Messing.

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