ABC ANNOUNCES A SPECIAL MOVIE ADAPTATION OF LORRAINE HANSBERRY'S �A RAISIN IN THE SUN,� STARRING AWARD-WINNING BROADWAY CAST
Sean Combs to Star and Produce
Oscar-Winning �Chicago� Team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and Sony Pictures Television to Produce, Along with the Show's Broadway Producers, Carl Rumbaugh, Susan Batson and David Binder
ABC will broadcast a movie adaptation of �A Raisin in the Sun,� the play that inspired a generation, it was announced today. Sean Combs will re-create the role that brought him recent acclaim, and the cast of the award-winning Broadway revival will star, including Sanaa Lathan, Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad.
�We�re thrilled to not only be bringing this timeless story to television, but with the award-winning Broadway cast,� said Quinn Taylor, senior vice president, Movies and Miniseries, ABC Entertainment. �This movie combines the best of Broadway and Hollywood for a television event.�
�A Raisin in the Sun� tells the story of a family living and struggling on Chicago�s South Side in the 1950s. A fiercely moving portrait of people whose hopes and dreams are constantly deferred, �A Raisin in the Sun� was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway. It premiered in 1959 with a cast that included Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett Jr. A Columbia Pictures feature version with the same cast followed in 1961.
Combs appeared opposite Halle Berry in �Monster�s Ball� and made his acting debut in the film �Made.� Sanaa Lathan was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her performance in �A Raisin in the Sun,� Audra McDonald won the Best Featured Actress Tony Award for her role in the play, and Phylicia Rashad won the Best Actress Tony Award for her role -- becoming the first African American actress to ever win the Tony in this category.
The movie will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron�s Storyline Entertainment, Sean Combs� Bad Boy World Wide Entertainment Group and Sony Pictures Television. The show�s Broadway producers, Carl Rumbaugh, Susan Batson and David Binder, will also serve as executive producers. Kenny Leon, who received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Director for his staging of the play on Broadway, will be making his film debut with this movie; and Paris Qualles, writer of the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated �Tuskeegee Airmen� and �The Rosa Parks Story,� will adapt Hansberry�s play and screenplay for the new movie event.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron executive-produced the Oscar winning Best Picture �Chicago� and the Emmy winning �Gypsy,� �Cinderella,� �Annie,� �Serving in Silence� and �Life with Judy Garland.� Their films have won six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, eleven Emmy Awards and two Peabodys. For their work in television, their movies have amassed 66 Emmy nominations.