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Lionsgate Prepping Big Screen Adaptation Of Zane's 'Addicted' (Who Should Star & Direct?)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
August 7, 2012 9:39 AM
40 Comments
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Sharon Leal In "Addicted"
Sharon Leal In "Addicted"

In case you didn't get the memo, Lionsgate is prepping a big screen adaptation of erotic fiction writer Zane's popular novel Addicted, which follows the trials and tribulations of a successful sex-addicted African American businesswoman.

Here's the proper synopsis:

For Zoe Reynard, finding the pleasure she wants, the way she wants it, is not worth the risk of losing everything she has: marriage to the man she has loved since childhood, a thriving company, three wonderful children. But Zoe feels helpless in the grip of an overpowering addiction...to sex. Finding a compassionate woman therapist to help her, Zoe finally summons the courage to tell her torrid story, a tale of guilt and desire as shocking as it is compelling. From the sensitive artist with whom she spends stolen hours on rumpled sheets to the rough and violent man who draws her toward destruction, Zoe is a woman desperately searching for fulfillment -- and something darker, deeper, and perhaps deadly. As her life spins out of control and her sexual escapades carry her toward a dangerous choice, Zoe is racing against time to uncover the source of her "fatal attraction" -- as chilling secrets tumble forth from the recesses of a woman's mind, and perilous temptations lead toward a climax that can threaten her sanity, her marriage... and her life.

The novel is described as a psychological drama; and Lionsgate initially tapped Rosemary Rodriguez (primarily a director of TV shows like L&O:SVU and The Good Wife) to direct Addicted, from a script adaptation initially done by Christina Welsh, with a rewrite by playwright Lucy Thurber.

However, Rodriguez is no long listed as director. So I did some sniffing around, and what I'm hearing is that Bille Woodruff is now attached to direct, with Nia Long and Tasha Smith starring as the lead, and her therapist respectively.

Again, these are UNCONFIRMED, so treat them as such. These projects get passed around, and it could be that there's interest in either direction, and nothing more; and when the final cast is finally officially revealed, the starring actresses, and director, will be a completely different trio.

But what I can say with certainty is that this is a very real project at Lionsgate. It's happening; it's just a matter of who's going to be infront of and behind the camera. Unless the studio eventually kills the project for one reason or another.

Production was scheduled to start this summer, but that hasn't happened... yet.

Zane is of course no stranger to screen adaptations of her work. Remember Zane's Sex Chronicles on Cinemax?

Stay tuned...

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40 Comments

  • TIPSTER | October 29, 2012 8:11 PMReply

    Hey, sports fans. A bunch of movie trucks showed up at Georgia State's campus in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Saw a trailer door labeled "Zoe Reynard" and a piece of paper stuck in a door with "Addicted" splashed across the top. No idea who is playing Zoe but it seems to me that they've found someone and are shooting, but I didn't see a set anywhere so I don't know exactly where they're shooting.

  • kdgomes | October 4, 2012 4:46 PMReply

    I think those who have not read Zane book should judge her writing or assume her books are like the rest. I have read addicted an it is an amazing book an hope think project makes it an isn't a let down from the book I think is will be a hit if done right

  • Orville | August 27, 2012 4:09 PMReply

    I don't see the big deal the black romantic comedies are pretty boring and generic. This movie Addicted is like a new genre for black film an erotic thriller. I think Kerry Washington is the obvious choice for Zoe and Jennifer Hudson or Meagan Good could be the therapist. This movie can be really hot and sexy and it should be rated R. There needs to be more range of black sexuality shown and I think Addicted could break down a lot of barriers.

    I think Addicted could be like the 2002 film Unfaithful except a black actress is the lead.
    This movie role will also be a bit risky for an African American actress but if the script is well written it could also be a huge success.

  • flychick86 | August 14, 2012 10:36 PMReply

    All of the mentioned actresses can be in it. It doesn't matter to me.

  • Critical Acclaim | August 9, 2012 2:57 AMReply

    I wouldn't be mad at a well made sexy drama like Unfaithful or Fatal Attraction with beautiful brown skin.

  • Miles Ellison | August 14, 2012 11:19 PM

    Good luck with that.

  • Yes | August 9, 2012 8:00 PM

    I couldn't agree more! That is the goal with this one. Sexy and classy with brown folks. Lets hope it comes together that way, and that it is supported when it comes out.

  • NO BRAINER | August 9, 2012 12:48 AMReply

    Lionsgate sure knows how to get into Black people's pockets. Good for them. Hey, whatever works...

  • ALM | August 8, 2012 11:10 PMReply

    I like Tasha Smith, but no.....I can see Nia in one of the roles, and Kerri Washington would be excellent. Sanaa Lathan is another choice or Anika Noni Rose. Lionsgate will have a challenge adapting this to something that doesn't come off like cheap soft core porn or "Trois 5: The Next Chapter".

  • Mack | August 8, 2012 7:28 PMReply

    So based on WOW's handy little side-by-side comparison of Harlequin romance vs. Zane bumpology, they are going to have to do a major reinvention of the material to make anything worthwhile of it, unless they want to make something along the lines of a Zalman King softcore porn film. And I don't care what anyone says, there's definitely a hunger audience out there who would be totally down with that, especially with black leads. Then it wouldn't matter what hair models they get to take part as long as they're young and firm and have no hang ups regarding nudity and performing simulated sex scenes.

  • WOW | August 8, 2012 8:38 PM

    "there's definitely a hunger audience out there who would be totally down with that, especially with black leads"... You got that right! And let's get something else straight. There's a black market for all genres of film and sex and relationship movies always sell. But don't get me wrong.... the words in my little side-by-sides were not taken directly from Zane's Addicted. However, the point I was trying to make is the gist of her books (the driving force of her books) are based on adventurous sexual escapades and illicit affairs, not quality writing, nor messages to pass along to your children. In other words, as I implied, although some Harlequin romance novels are better written with deeper storylines, Zane brings the sex element. So we are left with "acceptable" and relatable softcore porn. And let's be real, let every man who has not slipped to the hideaway hotel raise his hand. **eyebrow raised** And what woman has not fantasized about the love of someone else? Certainly we all can agree that many women do not have a mate nor a f**k buddy. Yet, the fire still burns. Shiiiiit, a good long lasting orgasm and the freaky deaky ( -- all night long -- ) never goes out of style. And you're right Mack, any actress could play the part of the "freak" as long a she can capture seductive sensuality & sexuality. Hey, what leaves the heart will find another's. This movie could be a defining moment in her career. I'm thinking a Sharon Stone type performance in Basic Instinct. Of course the storyline would have to change to make us "like" the business women/housewife (who likes or can relate to a scanky married woman?) but a star might be born at the end of Zane's movie Addicted. Yep, there is a ripe hungry audience - for sure.

  • Question | August 8, 2012 11:53 AMReply

    "Black people screw themselves... scandalous cheating married businesswoman? How original. PIMP MENTALITY in every part of Black centered entertainment. Worthless" vs. "What's the problem with a feature film based on a NY Times bestseller?" DUH to BONDGIRL. In your mind, if the material is based on a NY Times bestseller, regardless of it's subject matter, we should give it a pass and not be concerned with the messages it sends? How many times have we heard "No more comedies" "No more drugs and violence in our films" "no more prostitutes and crackhead roles" "no more maids and white savory films"? So now you're championing a scandalous cheating married black woman?! Is this really the alternative we're searching for? Don't let yourself be played like a pawn. I know some of you guys are "hungry" (that's understandable) but refuse the guts of the pig.

  • bondgirl | August 10, 2012 12:29 AM

    You're ignorant, you know that? This is the most circular discussion on this thread. Ironic that your name is "Question", bc clearly you can't decipher inquiry from comment. I asked 3 questions, so you assumed I knew about the book and attacked me for "defending the material". Instead of owning that you made a mistake, you'd rather mask your insecurity about being wrong by layering it with interrogation. ("So tell us tell a few complex reasons for having an affair?") If you knew how to articulate a negative review of this book as @WOW did, you'd feel less compelled to suggest unsolicited writing jobs. You believe reading a couple of books and a conversation with the author (not filmmaker, screenwriter, or producer) gives you perspective into the development and production value of this film? If that same logic was applied to Steve Harvey's book, it should've sank to the bottom of Rotten Tomatoes list. Hell, if that same logic was applied to Fifty Shades of Grey, it wouldn't have billion dollar making buzz. That book has been described as trash, and the entire industry knows it. You have the insight of a fortune cookie. The next time you accuse me of defending anything, make sure that is in fact what I'm doing.

  • Question | August 9, 2012 2:43 AM

    "Matter of fact, I thought Zane was a man". And I'm talking out of my ass? Excuse me, I've read Zane's works and I'VE HAD "discussions" with her. So maybe you should talk about something you're familiar with. So tell us tell a few complex reasons for having an affair? I am not familiar with those intricate details of freaks on the loose. School me. Btw, if you didn't know, there might be a place for you. Zane does use ghost writers. Google it. One writer tried to sue her.

  • bondgirl | August 9, 2012 1:15 AM

    "In your mind, if the material is based on a NY Times bestseller, regardless of it's subject matter, we should give it a pass and not be concerned with the messages it sends?" 1. Until this post, I knew nothing about the subject matter/style of Zane's writing. Matter of fact, I thought Zane was a man. 2. My comment was directed at the men (Miles, Adam, & Cordell)who I doubt read any of her books, and who had no issue with Steve Harvey's trash-to-film debut. 3. I don't have a problem with a film about a married woman having an affair, except for me there should be a complex reason for it besides having a loveless marriage. 4. You don't know what it's going to turn out to be so right about now...you're talking out your ass.

  • BluTopaz | August 8, 2012 11:50 AMReply

    I have not read any of Zane's novels, and admittedly when I see women reading them on the subway I immediately think 'ewww you let people see you reading that mess?' which i know is judgemental, sue me. But at the risk of sounding all artsy I've seen so many erotic, beautifully done European films and have often thought I'd like to see attractive, sophisticated Black people getting their freak on like that, without us worrying about what White people will think, etc. Others mentioned Kasi Lemmons to direct which I agree, and maybe S. Epatha Merkerson as the therapist (she played Kerry's mom in an indie flick and was fantastic). Can't think who could play Zoe, but GAWD ALMOST ANYONE EXCEPT GABRIELLE /NIA/KERRY. Lkle's Sanaa as Zoe suggestion is good, I could see her playing an undercover freak.

  • WOW | August 9, 2012 12:24 AM

    Well Donella it t-i-s what it is. Film/movies, are a turbulent marriage between businesspeople and artists. And since moviegoing is a modern cultural activity, some films and books are able to "masquerade"as art. However, I'm thinking this book and this movie will remain as nothing more than vehicles to make money (not art). Hey, different strokes for different folks. Steve Harvey's book "Think Like A Man" made money and so did the movie. But there was nothing special about either of them. Zane, like Steve Harvey, is a millionaire who writes about a subject all women can relate to. If the movie is going to be a success, it's all about supply and demand and marketing, not the director.

  • Donella | August 8, 2012 6:50 PM

    LOL @ WOW's clearing up of any confusion. I also like the idea of Kasi Lemmons directing. No thoughts on casting. But it is possible that the movie version might improve on the book version and actually raise it to art.

  • BluTopaz | August 8, 2012 3:29 PM

    Well now I know her work would have to be adapted for an R rating, what you have described here is crass garbage.

  • WOW | August 8, 2012 2:36 PM

    "the plot would have to be totally re-written to adapt to how I envision it". Yes, I can assume the "plot" and to a large degree the "purpose" would have to be "re-written" . Let's set the stage. There's Harlequin Romance style love stories/books. There's also hard core porn. Where does Zane fit? Well, first, Harlequin romance is a white thing but sex and love is universal. So Zane filled a void with a little punch. **cutting to the chase** This is not about great writing nor great storytelling. Make no mistake about it, Zane's novels are geared to tantalize, tease and excite one's basic animal instinct. The main feature the separates her works from "hard core porn" is simply her "word usage" and the fact that she features black characters. Example: Soft version..... "I knew in my heart that I was wrong for inviting my fitness coach to my home while my husband was away on a business trip. However, every time I am around him, I can't help but feel a moist warm glow down "there". I knew I was wrong for letting him see me stare at his manhood as it grew while he watched me doing leg squats, and I do love my husband". Hard core version: My husband is away on business and now I am in the gym's sauna with a man I barely know. My p**sy is dripping wet as his 9 inch cock digs deep in my oozing gash. I scream with delight as he sticks another finger in my ass. I love being a mother and a business women, but I also love to suck di*k in dark places and come on the d**ks of men as their rods swell inside me. End result... Harlequin Romance - Zane - Hard Core Porn. There's a thin line. Erotic & beautifully ?

  • BluTopaz | August 8, 2012 12:51 PM

    Those are great points, I was trying to remember the exact films I'm referencing but need to think about that. And like i mentioned, I haven't read any Zane so I don't know if the plot would have to be totally re-written to adapt to how I envision it. I have read great Black erotica before from writers who have written in other genres, and their work is what I am thinking of and have often visualized for the cinema. I imagine that is a tough genre for cinema, it's very easy to get cheesy. Maybe I am not the audience for this Zane project-(shrug)

  • WOW | August 8, 2012 12:23 PM

    PROBLEM #1! There's NOTHING "sophisticated" nor remotely "beautifully European" about Zane's Addicted. You cannot confuse the two. Second, one has to seriously consider the directors of the European films you've seen. What was the genre of their past films? Was "beautiful" and "erotic" (in it's many perspectives) at the core of their films? None of the aforementioned black directors (females or males) have shown they have the background nor desire to tackle a European style erotica film, let alone one involving sophisticated Black people getting their freak on (whatever that means) . And again, those characters and that type of story are not in Zane's Addicted.

  • lkle | August 8, 2012 10:44 AMReply

    Nia Long, good choice, Sanaa Lathan should be considered as well.

  • Orville | August 8, 2012 1:08 AMReply

    Queen Latifah isn't sexy and I doubt she could pull off a performance of a heterosexual woman addicted to straight sex. I think the reason Just Wright bombed a few years ago is nobody believed Queen Laitifah could fall in love with Common she's a nice lady and a good actress but she lacks sex appeal.

    Vivica A Fox could be Zoe she hasn't had a good movie role in a long time but I think she or perhaps Viola Davis could do a good job. Meagan Good is a talented actress she could be Zoe or the therapist. KD Aubert is also a good actress but she's not well known I can see her being Zoe too.

  • Mack | August 8, 2012 12:47 AMReply

    Here's an idea: Why not have the sex addict character, Zoe, be played by a middle-aged actress and the therapist be played by a younger actress? Think of the possibilities it opens up. Everyone is expecting a younger woman to be the sex addict and an older woman to play the therapist. It'll bring a different, and potentially more engrossing, dimension/dynamic to the characters' interaction onscreen. Just a thought. As for casting, I'm not feeling any of the suggestions so far, nor am I terribly enthused about the behind-the-scenes talent. I loved "Pariah" but I don't know if handling material like this is necessarily in Dee Rees' wheelhouse yet. Not to say she couldn't tackle it in the right way, I just don't know if she's the best person to handle the job. Another female director I think could do something great with this is Kasi Lemmons. Julie Dash comes to mind as well. As for the men, Spike Lee is out. "Girl 6". Enough said. We know Steve McQueen is capable of handling this sort of material but he doesn't impress me as the type to revisit the same well film after film. How about Kevin Rodney Sullivan or Carl Franklin? For actresses, I'd love to see someone unexpected play Zoe. How cool would it be to see someone like Kimberly Elise or Viola Davis or Queen Latifah or Sophie Okinedo (SP?) or Regina King or Audra McDonald play a sex addict? As for the therapist, again why not think outside the box? I'd consider the likes of Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Thandie Newton, and Vanessa Williams (Maxine on Showtime's "Soul Food" series). My dream cast for this would be two powerhouse middle-aged actresses working at the top of their game: Viola Davis as Zoe and Alfre Woodard as the therapist.

  • Kia | August 8, 2012 12:03 AMReply

    I'm actually interested to see how this develops. It's the direction I'd like to see stories that feature poc, specifically black women, go towards. I agree, enough with the comedies. I do think some of the readers are feeding into a male dominated view and subtle intimidation of anything that has a woman confidently owning her sexual desires. It would be nice if they revised some of the plot (e.g. instead of three kids, maybe just one) to allow this character to have the freedom to explore. Regardless this is a win win: non comedic, huge distributor and possible (if done with artistic prowess) challenging role for the right actress.

  • bondgirl | August 7, 2012 11:13 PMReply

    Why is there so much bitterness for this project? Did this author refuse to take your phone calls? Nia Long would be great, and I like the suggestion of Dee Rees to direct, though I'd re-think the Tasha Smith angle. What's the problem with a feature film based on a NY Times bestseller?

  • Julian | August 7, 2012 8:32 PMReply

    Never heard of this one, but Shame did prove you can make a movie focusing on a sex addict into more than just porn. My choice to direct would be Dee Rees, and possibly with Union in one of the prominent roles.

  • Akimbo | August 8, 2012 10:58 AM

    I didn't get why Bren LOLed, until I saw Gabrielle Union's name.

  • Bren | August 7, 2012 10:50 PM

    LLLMMMAAAOOO!

  • Orville | August 7, 2012 6:45 PMReply

    This project looks promising and I hope it is rated R and not PG 13. This movie can really challenge a black actress to take on a more risky film role. Instead of the tired romantic comedies this movie seems really interesting.
    I am not sure if Nia Long or Tasha Smith would be the right choice. I am thinking two young black actresses should be the leads they can reach a wider audience. Kerry Washington should be Zoe and Jennifer Hudson should be the therapist.

  • Bren | August 7, 2012 10:49 PM

    Jennifer Hudson? That's the best we can do here?

  • Adam Scott Thompson | August 7, 2012 5:45 PMReply

    So it's official: Lionsgate is on a mission to become the UPN of the film industry. Good to know.

  • Nadine | August 8, 2012 1:32 AM

    You know what else is official? Black people screw themselves... scandalous cheating married businesswoman? How original. Pimp mentality in every part of Black centered entertainment. Worthless.

  • WOW | August 7, 2012 5:23 PMReply

    HOT MESS? Could be? Tis already already a whore on the down-low. We have a married woman -- with 3 kids -- who's spreading her legs (desperately searching for fulfillment, aka, more dick) with whomever and where ever she can. Shiiiiiiit, sex-addicted African American businesswoman my ass, call it what it is... she's nothing but an out-of-control scank who loves to get "handled", licked, sucked & fked by men other than her husband. And c'mom, that's some hot nasty mess. But Zane is the most successful black author on today's scene so this might sell like/as "Think Like A Man"... if you know what I mean?

  • sandra | August 7, 2012 10:54 AMReply

    This could be a HOT MESS if not handled in a mature and sophisticated matter.

  • BREN | August 7, 2012 10:48 PM

    Miles Ellison: That made me spit out my iced tea. Truth!

  • Miles Ellison | August 7, 2012 8:05 PM

    Maturity and sophistication are in a Ferrari driving as fast as they can in the opposite direction of this project.

  • Cordell | August 7, 2012 11:22 AM

    I agree.

  • Yolanda | August 7, 2012 10:23 AMReply

    Nia Long would be a good fit for the role! I thought this project had been shelved but with the success of 50 shades I am not surprised that interest has been stirred up again.

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