Lifetime TV Is Planning A Remake Of ‘Steel Magnolias’


Hold on to your hats (and very big wigs), folks, because Lifetime TV has got some big news coming our way. The network, famous for it’s schmaltzy Lifetime TV Movies, has announced that it is producing a made-for-tv movie remake of Steel Magnolias! And, not only that, but that the remake will feature an all African-American cast! Want the deets? Read on below.

Steel Magnolias, the popular Off-Broadway and regional comedy-drama about wisecracking Louisiana women whose favorite emotion is laughter through tears, will get a second film treatment more than 20 years after the story was adapted for Hollywood. reported that the title — known as a 1987 play and a 1989 film, both written by Robert Harling — will be freshly adapted for a cast of yet-to-be announced African-American actresses for a TV film on the Lifetime network. Broadway, film and TV producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are behind the project. The first film starred Julia Roberts as a new bride, Shelby, whose mother, M’Lynn, played by Sally Field, frequents a beauty shop where friends — played by Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Darryl Hannah and Shirley MacLaine — squabble, joke and bond as tragedy befalls their circle. Harling drew on his own family history for the play. Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment will partner with Sony Pictures TV for the telepic. Kenny Leon (director of Broadway’s current The Mountaintop) will direct … The new “Steel Magnolias” will be written by Sally Robinson, who will reportedly draw on the Harling screenplay. The Off-Broadway production of the play ran 1,126 performances at the Lucille Lortel Theatre 1987-90. Pamela Berlin directed. A separate production had a short life on Broadway in 2005.
Casting for the new TV movie, which will be set in present day, not in the 1980s, begins immediately.

HMMMM … I’m not sure how I feel about this. Granted, Steel Magnolias did start out originally as a play … so any remake or redux of the story shouldn’t really be that much of a surprise to anyone. But the 1989 film is SO iconic that some of us (me included) may have a hard time envisioning a new version of the story. I do love that this new Lifetime made-for-TV movie will feature an African-American cast … that alone is enough to make this new project sound interesting to me. Altho I’m not all that interested in a Steel Magnolias remake, I am curious to see how this new TV movie will turn out. What do y’all think? Is this good news or very, very bad news?


  • drey

    me no likey! dont mess with the original!!!

    • FernLaPlante

      The movie you know and love is not the original. It was a play first and countless times since.

  • I’m ok with the African American cast but I’d rather have them say its a new adaptation instead of a remake. The other version was iconic and I don’t think its necessary to remake it. I’ll still watch it though ;)

    • Mr. Gyllenhaal


    • Debho

      Me too!

  • LV

    What’s next, Fried Green Tomatoes and Beaches?

  • JillieBean430

    I loved Steel Magnolias because it showed that there is alot of strength behind the smiles and charm of Southern women. It also showed the unusual bonds created through a lifetime. However, African American movies have always had strong central female characters that create strong bonds together. I feel like it will still be a good movie, but it will lose some of it’s charm for many people.

  • Adriana

    shouldn’t mess with perfection

  • Charles

    I think they should get Nikki Minaj to play the Dolly role…lol

  • Shannon

    So dumb. steel magnolias is iconic. Lifetime is only good for golden girls (until they took it off), Reba and HIMYM reruns

  • Drink your juice, Shonequa!

  • Krissy

    I think it is great that they will do a new version, but I think what made the old one so special was the INCREDIBLE talent of the cast. I think this new version could be just as great, as long as they are focused on casting talented actresses and not just “stars”. I also think the beauty parlor location has significance in the African American community, and so does diabetes.

    Plays especially are meant to be done over and over in new versions on the same story. I think it is fitting that they are doing a new take on it.

  • Lacey

    So long as it isn’t Tyler Perry playing every role, I’m fine with it.

  • JP

    I think they are smart to use an all black cast. If they make it different enough from the original, they won’t suffer from comparisons.

  • Christie

    This is a terrible idea. Almost as bad as remaking Dirty Dancing. Is Hollywood out of ideas?!

  • Kristen

    I think it’s a bad idea. I live in the town that inspired the play/movie and where it was filmed. It’s based on real people in this town and I have met some. I don’t see how this will turn out good. It’s a slap in the face to a town that’s so proud of their roots.

    • Krissy

      How is it a slap in the face to share their story?

  • MK

    Didn’t they already do this with Beauty Shop starring Queen Latifah?

  • Scott

    There was also a VERY brief television series based on “Steel Magnolias”… Elaine Stritch played Ouisa, Cindy Williams played M’Lynn… I don’t remember the rest of the cast. I guess that is a statement as to how well the production was received.

    • @Scott — O.M.G. YOU’RE RIGHT! I had totally forgotten/blocked out the TV show.