Lifetime's 'Steel Magnolias' Adaptation Casts Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Jill Scott

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The multihyphenate will launch a series of original Web shows about sports, entertainment, women’s issues and entrepreneurialism. (March 2011)

The telefilm, which begins shooting in April in Atlanta, also includes Alfre Woodard, Adepero Oduye and Condola Rashad among its cast.

Queen Latifah has joined the high-profile cast of Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias, a contemporary take on Robert Harling’s 1989 feature. 

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The Chicago Academy Award nominee will take the role of M’Lynn in the female-skewing network’s hotly anticipated telefilm. She is set to star alongside a cast that includes multiple Emmy winner Alfre Woodard as Ouiser, Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad as Clairee, Grammy winner Jill Scott as Truvy, Adepero Oduye as Annelle and Condola Rashad as Shelby.

“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 Networks president and GM 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.”

Added Helen Verno, Sony Pictures Television's EVP of movies and miniseries: “It is an honor for us to be revisiting the classic Sony film Steel Magnolias under the creative auspices of our producing partners Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the acclaimed director Kenny Leon and a team of brilliant actors including Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard and Jill Scott."

In Lifetime’s modern iteration, Steel Magnolias will chronicle the lives and friendship of six Louisiana-based women who congregate regularly at Truvy’s beauty shop. The project will begin production in April in Atlanta for a premiere this year.

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Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who worked with Latifah on Chicago and Hairspray, are attached to executive produce the project via their Storyline Entertainment shingle and Sony Pictures Television. They will be joined by Latifah, Shakim Compere (Single Ladies) and Shelby StoneKenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) will direct the script, which was adapted for television by Sally Robinson (Iron Jawed Angels).

Steel Magnolias is a reunion for Zadan, Meron, Phylicia Rashad and Leon, who collaborated on the Emmy-nominated Sony TV movie A Raisin in the Sun, which won numerous NAACP Image Awards.

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