Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
What Was I Watching Before? Bryan Singer Says 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Is "The True Birth Of The X-Men" What Was I Watching Before? Bryan Singer Says 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Is "The True Birth Of The X-Men" Review & Recap: 'True Detective' Season 2, Episode 3 'Maybe Tomorrow' Review & Recap: 'True Detective' Season 2, Episode 3 'Maybe Tomorrow' Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Epic New Trailer For Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert' With Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, & More Watch: Epic New Trailer For Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert' With Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, & More The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Watch: Michael Fassbender Plays ‘Steve Jobs’ In New Trailer For Oscar-Contender Co-Starring Kate Winslet & Seth Rogen Watch: Michael Fassbender Plays ‘Steve Jobs’ In New Trailer For Oscar-Contender Co-Starring Kate Winslet & Seth Rogen Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season

'Talk To Me' & 'Eve's Bayou' Helmer Kasi Lemmons To Adapt Zadie Smith's 'On Beauty'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist March 28, 2012 at 8:58AM

Unless you're up on your British literary phenomenons, you're in the McSweeney's crowd, or you're studying fiction at NYU, the name Zadie Smith might not be terribly familiar. Her first novel, the multi-cultural epic "White Teeth" caused a bidding war on the basis of an extract when the writer was only 22, and became an instant best-seller in 2000, a fate followed by her next two books, 2002's "The Autograph Man" and 2005's "On Beauty," the latter of which was nominated for the Booker Prize, the U.K.'s most prestigious literary award. But aside from a British TV miniseries version of "White Teeth," which showcased early turns from Naomie Harris and James McAvoy among others, Smith, who is currently a tenured professor of fiction at NYU, is yet to have a big-screen film made of one of her works.
1
Kasi Lemmons On Beauty

Unless you're up on your British literary phenomenons, you're in the McSweeney's crowd, or you're studying fiction at NYU, the name Zadie Smith might not be terribly familiar. Her first novel, the multi-cultural epic "White Teeth" caused a bidding war on the basis of an extract when the writer was only 22, and became an instant best-seller in 2000, a fate followed by her next two books, 2002's "The Autograph Man" and 2005's "On Beauty," the latter of which was nominated for the Booker Prize, the U.K.'s most prestigious literary award. But aside from a British TV miniseries version of "White Teeth," which showcased early turns from Naomie Harris and James McAvoy among others, Smith, who is currently a tenured professor of fiction at NYU, is yet to have a big-screen film made of one of her works.

But that's about to change, as Deadline reports that Kasi Lemmons, the filmmaker behind "Eve's Bayou," "The Caveman's Valentine" and most recently the underrated Don Cheadle/Chiwetel Ejiofor drama "Talk To Her," has signed on to write and direct an adaptation of "On Beauty." The Boston-set book (in our opinion Smith's finest, and one of the best novels of the last decade) is a loose riff on E.M. Forster's "Howard's End," following two rival academics, the British ex-pat Howard (a perfect role for Bill Nighy) who's married to an African-American woman, and Monty, a conservative Trinidadian based in Britain, whose families are drawn together when their children begin an ill-fated relationship.

The book is complex, funny, smart and sad, and full of memorable characters, so we're surprised that it's taken this long for a film version to get going, and while we don't love everything that Lemmons has made, she seems like an excellent fit for the material -- and we're certainly glad it's in the hands of an African-American filmmaker, rather than somebody like Stephen Daldry. The project is set up at Film4, Ruby Films ("Jane Eyre") and Carol Polakoff Productions, and while there's no news on when it might get before cameras, we hope it's sooner rather than later.

This article is related to: Kasi Lemmons, On Beauty


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates