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Shonda Rhimes Returns To Feature Film Scripting - Writing Screenplay For 'War Correspondents'

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 29, 2013 6:33 PM
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The Shonda Rhimes train keeps on powering ahead, so you can either get out of the way (assuming you're in front of it), jump on-board for the ride, or just watch from the platform as it speeds on by.

Rhimes will be returning to her feature film *roots* (her breakthrough gig, we could say, was co-penning the script for the 1999 telepic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge; other early scripting credits include Crossroads and The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement); She's now set to write the screenplay for a drama titled War Correspondents, which will center on women war correspondents, for Sony's Columbia Pictures.

Rhimes, will pen the script for the drama about female war correspondents.

"Shonda first explored the idea of a story about female war correspondents for television, but over the years, it's become a much bigger story and we're thrilled that she sees a way to do it on the big screen. She has a great take on the material and we have a consummate producer on board with Mark Gordon and believe this will make a terrific feature film," said Hannah Minghella, president of production at Columbia Pictures, in a statement to THR.

Mark Gordon executive produces Grey's Anatomy; he did the same for its now-defunct spinoff Private Practice.

Minghella and Rachel O'Connor will oversee the project at Columbia, with Rhimes' producing partner Betsy Beers via their ABC Studios-based Shondaland production banner. Michele Wolkoff is on board to supervise the project on behalf of the Mark Gordon Co. War also reteams Beers with Gordon.

THR provides further backstory on the project:

Rhimes, Beers and Gordon first developed the idea for TV before Grey's Anatomy, but the project stalled when the Iraq War began. She hinted that the project could be revived in a May interview with The New York Times, noting she wanted to do a show about "a woman carrying a gun and kicking people's butts" in the vein of J.J. Abrams' Alias. “I would have loved to have been the person who came up with it. I don’t think it's been done by a woman. And that's where my mind is.”

It was exactly a week ago when it was announced that Rhimes will executive produce a new project that ABC has put into development, titled Lawless, to be written by KJ Steinberg (Mistresses), inspired by the real life of trucker-turned-lawyer Wynona Ward, founder of Have Justice Will Travel.

She already has a lot on her plate, with ABC renewing Scandal for a 3rd season, and Grey's Anatomy for a 10th - both returning this fall.

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  • FactChecker | July 30, 2013 7:56 PMReply

    And to Um No, I'm not even going to dignify your repugnant, ignorant comment with a reply.
    I know you must not be black, because we're a classier race of people than you've shown yourself to be.

  • Katie | July 31, 2013 12:48 AM

    "And to Um No, I'm not even going to dignify your repugnant, ignorant comment with a reply." Good for you, I don't know what that dude's problem is. Him being white explains a lot and I wanna see black folks too in this film. I'll reserve my judgement, but if I don't see any, I'm out too.

  • JaySmack | July 30, 2013 9:03 AMReply

    The Rimes Express isn't a ride I want to take, so I'm glad to let it go by.

  • ernest champell | July 29, 2013 10:19 PMReply won't necessarily be a period piece. there are war correspondents currently working today. in fact a friend of mine fredricka whitfield (a sista) of cnn covered the bosnian war in the 90s.

  • FactChecker | July 30, 2013 7:53 PM

    Point taken. I'll wait and reserve judgement until all the facts -- and screenplay-- are in and produced.

  • FactChecker | July 29, 2013 8:50 PMReply

    Happy for her that she continues to get work, but this sounds like a period piece, which
    means don't expect any roles for blacks to be cast. Therefore, I'm out.

  • Um No | July 30, 2013 1:05 AM

    So your one of those bigoted stupid fucks who can't watch something unless a black quota is filled.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | July 29, 2013 7:55 PMReply

    Very interesting. I look forward to seeing what comes about.

  • Genuinesol | July 31, 2013 1:38 AM

    To begin, studies have shown that nearly 90% of blacks frequently go to see films that feature 2 to no blacks at all. So blacks have no problems (sometimes to our own misfortune) seeing films that pretend we do not exist and do no mater. That same study made it clear that many whites, nearly 90%, NEVER go to see movies that features little to no whites so if anyone as you eloquently put it is a "bigoted stupid f#*ks" it is 90% of whites who feel that no other color or group matters or is interested besides theirs. Blacks do not have this problem and freely embrace films that show whites even when the context would be very accessible to featuring blacks. Case in point, Darius Rucker is black country music star who frequently gets assailed with racial slurs by whites even though country music is a byproduct of the blues that was pioneered by blacks in the south. Do Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, and that Eminem guy get assailed with racial slurs by blacks? No. Whites are the ones that have the racial issue most of the time even though they are the ones that have all the privileges of assumption from society. If I thought about it, it would drive me mad.

  • ALM | July 29, 2013 7:24 PMReply

    Congrats. Ms. Rhimes really sets the bar high for other writers based on her work ethic.

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