Remake fever seems to have taken over Hollywood these days, because the Whitney Houston vehicle Sparkle (a remake of the 1970s Curtis Mayfield/Aretha Franklin vehicle Sparkle) had barely been in theaters a week before news broke that Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. has already worked out a deal for a remake of the Diana Ross vehicle and cult favorite Mahogany. As indieWire reports, last fall Gordy quietly signed over rights for the remake to de Passe-Jones Entertainment, the production company belonging to former Motown exec (now TV and film producer), Suzanne de Passe and Phillip Madison Jones. According to the company’s website:
“Newly formed de Passe-Jones Entertainment principals Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones (Currently producing the Martin Luther King biopic with Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks) have obtained the rights to the Diana Ross Billy Dee Williams classic MAHOGANY, from the film’s director and rights holder Mr. Berry Gordy.”
The story goes on to quote de Passe and Jones from an official press release about the project:
“We are excited to bring a remake of this classic film to a whole new audience and are grateful to Mr. Gordy for his trust” said Madison Jones. [Added de Passe]: “There are so few female-driven stories for African American actors and this is great material, with issues that are as relevant today as they were in the 70’s.”
The company is currently working with Star Jones and has established a “first-look” deal with Universal Pictures, so the smart money is that’s where the project will land, although it may be a while before we know more details (and Sparkle’s middling performance at the box office will surely delay things further). Until then we can pass the time speculating about who will reprise the role of Mahogany, the struggling designer from the tenements of Chicago originally played by Ms. Diana Ross. Zoe Saldana? Anybody? (maybe we can trade her Diana Ross for Nina Simone and everyone will be happy).
Meanwhile back in el barrio, Chris Rock recently revealed that there’s been some loose talk between himself and scribe Nelson George about a sequel to the farcical rap-umentary (and cult favorite) CB4. Watch the interview with Sway wherein Rock talks about “kicking some ideas around” about a “grown-man rapper” saga after the jump (CB4 discussion starts at about the 3-minute mark).