By Sonya Magett, EnStarz | Oct 07, 2012 07:09 PM EDT
Lifetime will premiere a reboot of the classic 1989 film "Steel of Magnolias"on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 9pm EST.
The remake features an all African-American cast starring Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard, singer Jill Scott, Phylicia Rashad and her daughter Condola Rashad and Adepero Oduye.
Latifah plays the lead role of M'Lynn, the beauty salon owner, who was played by Sally Field in the original. The former rapper also serves as executive producer for the film that celebrates female bonding.
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The film's storylines revolve around a group of friends who gossip while getting their hair done weekly at a local hair salon, Truvy's Beauty Spot in a Louisiana suburb. The storylines center around friendship, pain and loss; themes that are universal no matter what year the story is told or who is cast in the film.
Lifetime's remake of "Steel of Magnolias" was adapted to modern times by including mentions of social media (Facebook), the First Lady (Michelle Obama), and R&B music's brightest star Beyoncé.
When Oscar-winning producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron first came up with the idea of a remake featuring women of color, the pair immediately set their sights on Latifah. The duo had worked with the rapper-turned-actress on both "Chicago" and "Hairspray."
"When Craig (Zadan) and Neil Meron called me with the idea of redoing Magnolias with a black cast, I was all in," Latifah told Daily Beast. "I'd worked with them before, so I didn't even need to see the script for it. I also knew that story was timeless and colorless, which is something a lot of people need to understand about life. Certain things in life are universal."
"Without even pausing, (author Robert Hartling) said his dream was always to see 'Steel Magnolias' being done with an all African-American cast," Zadan told Zap2It. " 'Set it in the Deep South of today, in an African-American community, in an African-American beauty shop, and freely delve into the lives of that community, which is very different from a Southern white community, but you probably can tell the story without changing much dialogue,' he told us."
The remake is directed by Broadway veteran Kenny Leon, who had worked with Rashad on the stage and TV versions of "A Raisin In The Sun."
Latifah spoke highly of her co-stars, industry veterans Phylicia Rashad of "The Cosby Show" fame and the four time Emmy Award-winning Alfre Woodard, who appeared on "Desperate Housewives" for a season.
"Alfre Woodard was in automatically because she wasn't having it any other way," Latifah added. "She was born to play the role has, and she had to have it. The rest of the cast perfectly fit their roles, too. I couldn't dreamed of a better group of women around me."
Latifah's co-star Jill Scott also discussed the joy she experienced from working on set with an All-star cast.
"It was amazing to be on the set and feel that great mix of professionalism, history, and love," Jill Scot ttold Daily Beast. "It was one of the most enjoyable sets I've worked on. Sometimes Queen, myself, and the others would just stand back and watch Phylicia and Alfre do their thing in awe of their grace and talent."
"Steel of Magnolias" is based on a play by Robert Hartling. The story was first told in an off-Broadway play in 1987.
The original film arrived in theaters in 1989 and earned $95 million.
The movie's an all-star cast included Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts.
Watch the preview trailer for Lifetime channel's remake of "Steel of Magnolias"
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