Why Remake Steel Magnolias?
By Jerry Portwood
This Sunday, October 7, audiences will finally get a chance to see the Lifetime Steel Magnolias remake that stars Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad, and Adepero Oduye (star of last year’s lesbian hit Pariah).
After all the hullabaloo surrounding the remake, The Advocate recently spoke with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (both gay men) about why they felt it was time to remake the film so beloved by many gay men (and originally starring Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Dolly Parton).
“You don’t get that criticism in the theater,” Meron says. “They don’t ask, ‘Why are you doing Hamlet again?’” Plus, they wanted to work again with Latifah again, who costarred in their smash musical films Chicago and Hairspray.
In fact, Zadan thinks the contemporary version of playwright Robert Harling’s story may be even more relevant to LGBT audiences today than it was a quarter century ago. “It’s such a powerful story of friendship that only gets stronger when times get tougher,” he explains. “And I’m so proud of our cast, who each give a vivid, stunning performance that reinvents these classic characters for a new generation.”
And Meron breaks it down even further: “Best of all: It’s smart. And I think gay people respond to smart material.”
Watch Steel Magnolias this Sunday, October 7 on Lifetime. Watch the trailer below.