Photo of Dee Rees by Gavin Bond for Out
As we prepare for Dee Rees's bisexual Bessie biopic starring Queen Latifah and Mo'Nique to debut on HBO May 16, the exciting news that the young writer/director is joining forces with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers of Shondaland for an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns made us stand up and cheer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Rhimes and Beers will executive produce through their ABC Studios-based Shondaland banner."
Wilkerson was the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism for her coverage of 1993 Midwestern floods. But she quit her job at the New York Times to focus on the book, which took 15 years to write, and was a bestseller and National Book Award winner in 2010 when it was published.
In 2011, Rees's film Pariah was an indie darling. The coming-of-age tale of a young black lesbian starred Kim Wayans and Spike Lee was one of the executive producers.