Kenny Leon to Direct STEEL MAGNOLIAS Remake Featuring All-Black Cast


According to, a remake of the 1989 movie 'Steel Magnolias' which was based on the 1987 play, is currently in the works. Lifetime is currently working with Broadway director Kenny Leon and producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to recreate the classic film with an all-black cast.

Like the original movie, the film will take place 'in Louisiana and explore the bond among a group of women in the present day,' and feature an adapted screenplay by Sally Robinson. Casting for the film will begin in the near future.

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Leon gained prominence in 1988 when he became one of the few African-Americans to head a notable nonprofit theater company as the artistic director of Atlanta's ALLIANCE THEATRE Company. In the spring of 2004 he directed a revival of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald in his Broadway debut. At the end of that year, he directed the Broadway premiere of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean. In Spring 2007, he directed August Wilson's "Radio Golf". All three plays were nominated for Tony awards, and Leon was a Drama Desk Award nominee for A Raisin in the Sun.

Leon was nominated for a Tony Award in 2010 for Best Director for his work on August Wilson's Fences starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, earning them both nominations and wins for Best Performance for Male and Female in a Play. he most recently directed The Mountaintop, which  opens on October 13 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

Neil Meron and Criag Zadan began at The Public Theater working for Joseph Papp. Zadan also wrote the acclaimed book Sondheim and Co. They recently produced the Tony® Award winning Promises, Promises on Broadway and are currently represented with the Tony® Award winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette.

Their films have garnered six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 11 Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards and a Grammy Award. Their feature films include "Chicago" (Six Oscars including Best Picture), Hairspray, The Bucket List, and Footloose. Their television projects (69 Emmy nominations) include: "Gypsy", "Cinderella", "Annie", "The Music Man", "Life With Judy Garland", "Martin and Lewis", "Serving In Silence", "The Beach Boys", "Brian's Song", "The Three Stooges", "The Reagans", "A Raisin In The Sun", plus the hit television series "Drop Dead Diva." They are currently producing with Steven Spielberg the new NBC television drama "Smash," about the behind-the-scenes creation of a Broadway musical.

The original film was directed by Herbert Ross that stars Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts.

The stage play was originally staged Off-Broadway in 1987, and then was produced on Broadway in 2005. All of the action of the play takes place solely on one set - Truvy's beauty salon, which is part of her house. There are only six characters (all female) who appear onstage; a disc jockey's voice is also heard (from a radio in the background) during the play. All the other characters who appear in the film version, such as the males in the ladies' lives, are only referred to in the play's dialogue.

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