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Lance Gross, Tory Kittles, Michael Beasley Co-Staring In All-Black "Steel Magnolias" Remake

by Tambay A. Obenson
April 21, 2012 2:08 PM
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Production for the all-black cast remake of the 1989 tear jerker drama set in Louisiana, Steel Magnolias, is well underway Altanta, GA.

Given that they are the stars of the project, the actresses who'll be headlining the project have already been announced: Queen Latifah (she's also executive producer) as M'Lynn, Alfre Woodard as Ouiser, Phylicia Rashad as Clairee, Jill Scott as Truvy, Adepero Oduye as Annelle and Rashad’s daughter, Condola Rashad as Shelby. 

The original Steel Magnolias starred Sally FieldDolly PartonShirley MacLaineDarryl HannahOlympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts.

But what about the fellas? I haven't seen any official announcements (although that happens) revealing who'll be playing Jackson, Sammy and Spud (roles originated by Dylan McDermottKevin J. O'Connor and Sam Shepard respectively), and there likely won't be any.

But thanks to a tweet by Lance Gross with the above set photo, I was able to determine that Gross (who's in the photo on the far right), along with Tory Kittles (also above) are in the Lifetime movie, starring as Sammy and Jackson. Condola Rashad and Adepero Oduye are the two ladies in the photo with them.

And after a little further digging, I learned that Michael Beasley is also onboard, playing the role Sam Shepard played in the first movie - Spud.

As previously noted, I haven't watched the original 1989 movie, although I plan to do so sometime this weekend, and so I can't tell you how involved each of these male characters was in that film, or make any guesses as to how much they will be used in this all-black remake.

I know many of you have seen the original, so fell free to chime in.

Lance gross is likely the most familiar of the 3 dudes; Tory Kittles has done lots of TV and film work, like Sons Of Anarchy and Miracle At St Anna. He may not be instantly recognized, but he's busy; the same goes for Michael Beasley (Magic City, American Reunion).

This all-black reincarnation for Lifetime is being directed by Kenny Leon (ABC's A Raisin in The Sun, Broadway's Fences and The Mountaintop), from a script adapted from the 1989 film screenplay by Sally Robinson..

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  • RadioRascoe | April 26, 2012 4:08 PMReply

    I was thinking the same thing as Wisemocha except like, "please don't let M'lynn be a single mother." If they decide to do that it would really burn my bridges.

  • RadioRascoe | April 26, 2012 4:10 PM

    I mean britches..I'm so concerned about this, I can't even spell right. lol

  • WiseMocha | April 23, 2012 1:15 AMReply

    Who is going to play Shelby's dad/M'lynn's husband? Please don't tell me that role isn't included, because his character going back and forth with Ouiser brought some much needed comic relief to an otherwise sad movie. I wish Bernie Mac was still around, because he would have been perfect for the part.

  • pribelle | April 22, 2012 11:46 AMReply

    I'd rather see an adaptation of Pearl Cleage's Flying West based on real black frontier women. We don't need to remake we have PLENTY of stories of our OWN. We have black writers. If you want to find them contact We are nationwide. Bottom Line: It's a struggle to be non-white writer in the studio system. Many times scripts with black screenwriters get made with all white casts (New In Town w/Renee Zelwegger was a vehicle for Gabrielle Union) and black characters' races are changed! (Pay It Forward book has Kevin Spacey's charter written black, The 9/11 movie black fireman was white etc.) Right now we are FORCED to be independent. Even Think Like A Man struggled to get made. Thankfully it is paying off this weekend. But we can't give up. Our ancestors didn't. We must continue to create our OWN opportunities. Nobody paid attention to Sly Stallone till he wrote Rocky, or Nia Vardalos until she wrote My Big Fat Greek Wedding! Waiting on Hollywood or The Oscars to validate us is a waste. We have to spread the word about Shadow and Act to EVERYBODY and support our films over and over again. I will check out "Magnolias" AND I will write a letter to Lifetime asking them to put on ORIGINAL content. We cannot be a victim of our own silence. We must let our VOICES be heard by any means necessary.

  • Akimbo | April 22, 2012 12:26 PM

    I would absolutely LOVE to see a feature version of FlyingWest, my favorite Cleage play by far. That being said, first and foremost, I want to see black people in quality projects; while I'd prefer something new/untapped, I'll take a black remake of a good play/movie over the crap that You-Know-Who (and imitators) is making.

  • Emmanuel | April 21, 2012 7:56 PMReply

    Adepero and Condola look great in this pic. Hopefully we can see more of them in films, and less of the usual, same old faces we always get. *cough*Gabby Union*cough*

  • misha | April 21, 2012 5:27 PMReply

    Dylan McDermott's Jackson was actually one of my favorites from the original...he was swoonworthy! :D So yeah, not sure why Lance isn't playing Jackson since I think it's safe to say that he's more of the hearthrob here and matches up better with Condola's Shelby, IMO. Anyhow, we'll see how it turns out.

  • Vanessa | April 21, 2012 5:40 PM

    I feel the same way about casting Lance as Jackson instead of Sammy.

  • Carolyn | April 21, 2012 4:10 PMReply

    I don't understand why we can't be more creative instead of doing black versions of well known dramas or movies! Start from scratch...why don't you?

  • Clayton | April 23, 2012 1:40 AM

    @CAROLYN... This is all I can do at this point... smdh...

  • micheleb | April 21, 2012 6:38 PM

    i agree. it's like blacula. but i'll still check it out

  • Yay! | April 21, 2012 3:51 PMReply

    Love Tory Kittles!!

  • Jasmin | April 21, 2012 3:49 PMReply

    Interesting. I'd agree with Vanessa, the men's roles weren't very central to the original, but we'll see what happens here. Also have to say this is one of the few remakes I'm actually looking forward to. I get your point about wanting to see these actresses in original material, Tambay, but Steel Magnolias is a pretty big deal in certain circles, and if there must be a remake, this film is a great choice. But maybe it's a woman thing ;)

  • Vanessa | April 21, 2012 3:24 PMReply

    The male roles aren't very prominent at all. They're more there to keep the story flowing. I'm not excited about this remake even though I will see it. I really want to see their performances, although it's too bad that I will be comparing it to the original the whole time. And, talk about predictable! You might as well not watch the original at this point, and just wait for this one. You'd probably enjoy it more. BTW, the original is one of my all time favorites too. You'll never forget Sally Field screaming WHY?! at the end of the film, at least I never did. Oh how I love her. :)

  • Angel | April 21, 2012 3:02 PMReply

    I'm very excited to see this incarnation. The original movies is right up there with The Color Purple as one of my favorite movies of all time.

  • Ade | April 21, 2012 2:56 PMReply

    Why are Black re-makes of white plays and movies being made ? Where are our young, gifted and Black screenwriters ?

  • Clayton | April 23, 2012 1:38 AM

    @AARON DAY... Hey now! Don't knock the hustle. I gotta eat, don't

  • Edd | April 22, 2012 11:02 AM

    They are out their but studios interested in those stories being told, that's I say we have to support small independent black film.

  • Aaron Day | April 21, 2012 3:59 PM

    Packing bags at Trader Joe's!

    Studios don't make more than 2-3 Black films a year. Indie production companies buy into the "Black films have no foreign box appeal" story. Finally there's the indie filmmakers who, if they are lucky enough to get their films made, can't afford top talent and end up with DVD (and now VOD) releases.

  • Jada | April 21, 2012 2:28 PMReply

    Love seeing our young talent shining!

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