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'Just Wright,' 'Brown Sugar' Screenwriter Hired To Pen Script For 'Waiting To Exhale' Sequel

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 25, 2012 10:29 PM
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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.

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  • Middle of America | July 26, 2012 2:52 PMReply

    Another Black Romantic comedy?
    "Noo, I'm not going to cryyy, cause your not worth my tears.."

  • Orville | July 26, 2012 2:51 PMReply

    How can a movie be made when Whitney Houston just died a few months ago? The spark is gone this movie is not going to be as successful as it should be. No offence to Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon fans but Whitney Houston was the star that has the crossover appeal. Now Whitney is gone this movie might be a huge bomb.

  • the black police | July 26, 2012 11:16 PM

    Angela's role was far more iconic.

  • Cherish | July 26, 2012 11:27 AMReply

    I loved Whitney like everyone else, but this movie is based on a book (series?) and this character was important, like the connection between all the women. There is no reason to cut the character out and do such a major overhaul. And hate to say it, but let's be real, Whitney was not exactly a great actress. Are you guys saying you can't IMAGINE anyone else playing this role? She did OK, but it wasn't like, 'OMG Whitney captured the heart and essence of this character and stole the show and no one else can EVA EVA play her..." LOL.

  • ALM | July 26, 2012 10:24 PM

    @ Cherish. It's a matter of opinion. I always felt that Whitney was a good actress. She was very natural and believable in her movie roles. This was especially true of "Waiting to Exhale". 80% of the stars of Whitney's caliber that transition into the acting world are stiff, wooden, and unnatural. Instead of playing a role, we end up witnessing "famous person" being so hyper aware of himself or herself that the acting is awful. When Whitney played the role in "Waiting to Exhale" she genuinely conveyed the hurt and devastation one may feel after falling for the lines that some men give to women.

  • the black police | July 26, 2012 12:48 AMReply

    All you people saying they should change the plot, do you realize the movie is based on a book????!!!! Still the writers thats just been hired has made some trite movies in the past so I guess we should expect more of it. SMH.

  • Donella | July 27, 2012 6:32 PM

    In the Waiting to Exhale book, the character of Savannah anchored the storyline and was the central character since quite a bit was from her POV. In the movie, Savannah's role became equal to that of the other three characters, likely due to the fact that Whitney performed opposite three veteran actresses. It may have also been Forest Whittaker's direction that equalized the four leads. If Getting to Happy makes it to production, they will likely have to change the plot. Recasting Whitney would be so difficult since she's so identified with the role. I believe the screenwriter would have no choice but to modify the plot and focus more attention on the other three leads, plus their teenage/adult children.

  • the black police | July 26, 2012 1:00 PM

    Obviously. But I havent read the book. Whitneys characters role may have been instrumental. She seemed like the main or second main in the last one.

  • BrokenSpaceBar | July 26, 2012 3:12 AM


  • Beemooree | July 25, 2012 11:56 PMReply

    Opennthe scene with Whitney funeral . And don't recast her

  • turner | July 25, 2012 11:32 PMReply

    Another sub par movie coming our way....

  • NO BRAINER | July 25, 2012 11:21 PMReply

    While both Just Wright and Brown Sugar were both lame movies...

  • BrokenSpaceBar | July 26, 2012 3:11 AM

    Das True. Structurally Sound But Soulless.

  • ALM | July 25, 2012 10:49 PMReply

    They shouldn't replace Whitney. They also shouldn't pull the "she moved to Delaware....." card either. They need to find a proper way to honor Whitney's character. The producers and writers need to have a major brainstorming session to determine how to do this.

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