Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Vampire Diaries' Star Kat Graham Will Play Tammi Terrell in a Biopic of the Late Singer 'Vampire Diaries' Star Kat Graham Will Play Tammi Terrell in a Biopic of the Late Singer You Likely Won't Find a More Candid & Comprehensive Interview with Euzhan Palcy Than This One... You Likely Won't Find a More Candid & Comprehensive Interview with Euzhan Palcy Than This One... Watch Clip From 'Teachers' - a Film on the Education Crisis in the USA, Starring Tatyana Ali Watch Clip From 'Teachers' - a Film on the Education Crisis in the USA, Starring Tatyana Ali David Oyelowo, Amma Asante & Rosamund Pike Teaming Up for Seretse Khama Feature Project David Oyelowo, Amma Asante & Rosamund Pike Teaming Up for Seretse Khama Feature Project 40+ Black Filmmakers Will Take Over Twitter Tomorrow for an AFFRM-ing Objective. You Should Join Them... 40+ Black Filmmakers Will Take Over Twitter Tomorrow for an AFFRM-ing Objective. You Should Join Them... Rae Dawn Chong Headlines ‘7 Magpies’ - All-Black Female Director Horror Anthology Film Rae Dawn Chong Headlines ‘7 Magpies’ - All-Black Female Director Horror Anthology Film The Nina Simone Bio Starring Zoe Saldana Will Apparently Be Released Later This Year... The Nina Simone Bio Starring Zoe Saldana Will Apparently Be Released Later This Year... The American Black Film Festival Announces Its 2015 Films in Competition The American Black Film Festival Announces Its 2015 Films in Competition Why ‘The View’ Badly Needs Raven-Symoné Why ‘The View’ Badly Needs Raven-Symoné It's Black Bike Week! Watch 2 Short Documentaries on the Popular Annual Event It's Black Bike Week! Watch 2 Short Documentaries on the Popular Annual Event Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? 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 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...

Viola Davis Options Rights To Award-Winning Novel "The Personal History of Rachel DuPree"

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 12, 2011 at 2:46AM

A follow-up to my post a few days ago on Viola Davis creating a production company with her husband, and the projects she plans to produce with it, specifically one that she described as "a period piece about African-American homesteaders."
12

A follow-up to my post a few days ago on Viola Davis creating a production company with her husband, and the projects she plans to produce with it, specifically one that she described as "a period piece about African-American homesteaders."

Well, I think we now know what the project is. Entertainment Weekly caught up with Viola while on the red carpet for Tuesday night's premiere of The Help, and she not only talked about the news of her creating a production company to "expand the options for black actors" but also about a book she's optioning titled The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, a 2008 title written by Ann Weisgarber, a book I haven't read.

So what's it about? Here's how Amazon.com describes it:

The story begins as Rachel DuPree, wife of one of the only African-American ranchers in the Badlands in 1917, watches her husband, Isaac, lower their six-year-old daughter, Liz, down a well to fetch water in the midst of a terrible drought. Though she concedes it must be done, Rachel--heavily pregnant with her eighth child--is distraught, and her worries set off a chain reaction of second-guessing her loyalty to Isaac, whose schemes include buying out the neighboring ranch and leaving the family to find work during the winter. As a series of calamities befall the family, Rachel must decide whether to follow the only man she has ever loved or strike a new path of her own. Rachel's homely voice isn't the most inviting, and while the racial tensions between whites, blacks, and Native Americans is pretty surface-level, Weisgarber's depiction of survival in the harsh Badlands has its moments.

Hmmm... another title to add to my ever-growing to-read pile. Anyone read it? And if so, thoughts?

It's a period piece, as already stated, and given many of your reactions to past posts on films set in America's turbulent racial past, I suspect some of you won't be too thrilled about this one.

It spans generations, and we’re committed to it,” Viola said.

Naturally, the question of funding immediately arises. This isn't the kind of material Hollywood studios are particularly interested in (considering the main protagonists aren't white, nor does it appear the story is told from a white person's POV). But who knows. Viola's name may carry a little more weight now than it did a year ago, and she does headline at least one other upcoming drama.

Although she may also find financing independently. I'm guessing she also plans to star in the film adaptation.

But I'm certainly curious, and will buy the book to read, and share my thoughts on it afterward.

This article is related to: casting, Things That Make You Go Hmm..., Book To Film


Shadow & ActNewsletter