Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
HBO Boss Says Issa Rae's Series Casting Now, Slightly Different in Tone from Web Series, Don't Expect Until 2016/2017 HBO Boss Says Issa Rae's Series Casting Now, Slightly Different in Tone from Web Series, Don't Expect Until 2016/2017 Nice! Lupita Nyong’o Will Star in Danai Gurira's Liberia Civil War Drama ''Eclipsed' Nice! Lupita Nyong’o Will Star in Danai Gurira's Liberia Civil War Drama ''Eclipsed' John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive Produce WGN America's 'Underground' John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive Produce WGN America's 'Underground' Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Queen Latifah Will Play Wiz and Mary J. Blige Is Evillene in NBC's Musical Production of 'The Wiz' Queen Latifah Will Play Wiz and Mary J. Blige Is Evillene in NBC's Musical Production of 'The Wiz' 'Shaft' Reboot Draws 'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris as Writer - Studio Aiming for Something More Comedic 'Shaft' Reboot Draws 'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris as Writer - Studio Aiming for Something More Comedic NBC Rethinks Broadcast Runs for New Summer Comedies, 'Mr. Robinson' & 'The Carmichael Show' NBC Rethinks Broadcast Runs for New Summer Comedies, 'Mr. Robinson' & 'The Carmichael Show' Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in August Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in August 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Dolen Perkins-Valdez Debut Novel "Wench" Optioned for Film Adaptation

Shadow and Act By Vanessa Martinez | Shadow and Act August 10, 2011 at 7:48AM

"Yes it's true, it has been optioned!" Those were the exact words from author Dolen Perkins-Valdez in a very brief exchange through Facebook, when I asked her if her compelling debut novel Wench had indeed been optioned for a movie adaptation.
24

"Yes it's true, it has been optioned!" Those were the exact words from author Dolen Perkins-Valdez in a very brief exchange through Facebook, when I asked her if her compelling debut novel Wench had indeed been optioned for a movie adaptation.

For those of you not familiar with this New York Times bestseller, Wench is a well-researched, beautifully written but heartrending fiction tale of four slave women who befriend at the Tawawa resort in Ohio, a real historic establishment in the 1850's known for rich plantation owners to bring their enslaved black mistresses in the summers for a "vacation," in order to carry on with their illicit affairs away from plantation life and their wives.

The main character is Lizzie, a young slave woman who has two children by Drayle, her master. At the resort, she interacts and forms a bond with three other slave women: Mawu, Sweet and Reenie. Conflict arises when one of them plots to escape in the free state, stirring antagonistic emotions in Lizzie, who is tempted to escape but faces the complex dilemma of betraying her loyalty to Drayle, also the only paternal figure in her life, and of leaving her children behind.

Don't let the romantic and whimsical imagery of the book cover fool you. Having read it about a year and a half ago, Wench is brave, unflinching, and powerful. At times brutal, it will shock you, test your spirit and move you. Upon finishing it, I had trouble falling asleep trying to make sense out of these slave women's lives and awful predicaments. You are highly encouraged to read it. Buy it on Amazon HERE, and read some of the reviews.

I don't have anymore information about the option, but when I do, I will denitely give you an update. Although slavery films are controversial and not popular projects (Django Unchained aside); I'm highly interested in an adaptation for this one.

In a tweet dated July 25th of this year, Perkins-Valdez (@Dolen) expressed her desire for actress Nicole Beharie to play the leading role of Lizzie:

"Correction. Follow the REAL Nicole Beharie here: @nikkibeharie. Love her. I hope she has read Wench and wants to play Lizzie."

I can't disagree with her; I can see Beharie in the role.

Watch the video below where Dolen talks about how the idea for the novel came about.

Have you read the novel? If you have, would you like to see an adaptation on the screen, big or small? Who would you like to see cast in the main roles?

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez from Harper Books on Vimeo.


This article is related to: Preview, Watch Now, FYI, Book To Film


Shadow & ActNewsletter