In February, the talk was on whether the upcoming sequel to Waiting To Exhale would at all be affected by Whitney Houston's passing, and if the project would actually continue ahead.
With this evening's news, it looks like the answer to that question is yes! No surprise at all... not to me anyway.
To be based on author Terry McMillan's book (just as the original film was) Getting To Happy, it's been announced that Michael Elliott has been hired to pen the screenplay for the filmed version of the novel - although, as we've continuously updated you on the progress of the film, you'd know that McMillan was said to have been working on the script adaptation of Getting to Happy for a year, or more.
McMillan wrote an initial draft, and it looks like Elliott is taking over.
As an FYI, I should note that Michael Elliott's last feature script effort was penning the screenplay for 2010's rom-com Just Wright, and for Brown Sugar in 2002, so I'd say this is right up his alley.
Getting To Happy will be housed at Fox 2000 Pictures, shepherded by the original Exhale director Forest Whitaker.
Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine are expected to return. I haven't heard or read anything about Lela Rochon, or any of the other cast members from the first film.
The big question of course is: who might replace Whitney in the sequel, assuming she is?
Earlier this year, when faced with that question, Fox 2000 Pictures prez Elizabeth Gabler said "it isn’t inconceivable" that Oprah Winfrey might be the one (if only as an honor to Whitney), given that she's already announced her plans to return to acting.
However, as Gabler also cautioned, no deals have been done with anyone.
Waiting To Exhale was a box office success in 1995, grossing about $95 million (adjusted for inflation) domestically, and $115 million worldwide (also adjusted for inflation).
I'd expect this sequel will be on the studio's release slate sometime in 2013.
Michael Elliott's a wanted man these days. In a future post, I'll write about some other projects he's attached to currently.