by Guest Contributor Melissa Silverstein, originally published at Women and Hollywood
Lionsgate Studios, which has been in the very lucrative Tyler Perry business for several years now, is clearly on track to take up more of the slack in producing and distributing entertainment for the underserved African American market. They bought Push (now renamed Precious) out of Sundance with Perry and Oprah, and now has acquired the film rights for Ntozake Shange’s play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
The play was supposed to have been revived recently on Broadway with India.Arie but financing fell through. The play initially opened off Broadway in 1974, then moved to Broadway and was nominated for a best play Tony in 1977. A TV movie was made of the play in 1982.
Lionsgate “touted its ‘leadership role in producing and distributing a diverse roster of motion pictures about black characters.’” when announcing the film.
From what I can tell this is all about Tyler exerting some power. For Colored Girls will be directed by music video director Nzingha Stewart who adapted the screenplay. She has an affiliation with Perry having directed The Marriage Counselor which is a part of the “Tyler Perry Collection.”
It’s pretty interesting that the last indie studio is being this formal, deliberate and public about it’s strategy. Will it be a success? And can it maybe influence someone to think about women this way?
Lionsgate acquires ‘Suicide’ (Variety)