THE "ABC WORLD PREMIERE MOVIE EVENT: A RAISIN IN THE SUN" HAS JUST BEEN SELECTED TO BE SCREENED AT THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL IN JANUARY 2008
"Raisin" Will Be the First Broadcast Network Film to Be Featured at the Festival
A "First Look" Trailer of the Acclaimed New Three-Hour Television Movie Adaptation Will Be Available at ABC.com, Beginning Today, November 30
The highly anticipated "ABC World Premiere Movie Event: A Raisin in the Sun" has been selected to be screened (out of competition) at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, January 23, 2008, it was announced yesterday by the Sundance Institute. This will be the first time that a broadcast network film will be featured at the celebrated festival.
In addition, ABC.com will offer a first look of the trailer of the already acclaimed three-hour film, beginning today, November 30.
The "ABC World Premiere Movie Event: A Raisin in the Sun" will air on FEBRUARY 25, 2008 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET), the night after ABC's live coverage of the 80th Annual Academy Awards.
Sean Combs, who reprises the role of Walter Lee, Jr. which brought him acclaim, stars in the television movie adaptation from Sony Pictures Television, along with the cast of the award-winning Broadway revival who recreate their roles for the new film, including Emmy and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad, four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, Tony Award nominee Sanaa Lathan, plus "ER" star John Stamos.
Based on the play that inspired a generation, "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 with the same cast followed in 1961. The classic, still-relevant story now will be showcased in this totally new television movie adaptation.
Phylicia Rashad won the Best Actress Tony Award for her role in "Raisin" -- becoming the first African American actress to ever win the Tony in this category. Audra McDonald won the Best Featured Actress Tony Award for her role in the play, and Sanaa Lathan was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her performance
Sean Combs appeared opposite Halle Berry in "Monster's Ball" and made his acting debut in the film "Made."
"A Raisin in the Sun" stars Sean Combs as Walter Lee, Jr., Phylicia Rashad as Lena Younger, Audra McDonald ("ABC's Private Practice," HBO's "Wit," ABC's "Annie" and the recent Broadway production of "110 in the Shade") as Ruth, Sanaa Lathan ("Out of Time," "Something New") as Beneatha, John Stamos (A&E's "Wedding Wars") as Mr. Lindner, Justin Martin (Broadway production of "The Lion King," "Judging Amy," "Malcolm in the Middle") as Travis, Sean Patrick Thomas ("Barbershop 2: Back in Business") as George Murchison, David Oyelowo ("The Last King of Scotland") as Joseph Asagai, Bill Nunn ("Spider Man") as Bobo and Ron Cephas Jones ("Law & Order") as Willy Harris.
The movie is executive-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, also serve as executive producers. Kenny Leon, who received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Director for his staging of the play on Broadway, makes his film debut with this movie; and Paris Qualles, writer of the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated "Tuskeegee Airmen" and "The Rosa Parks Story," adapted Hansberry's play for the new movie event.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron produced "Hairspray," 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.
"ABC World Premiere Movie Event: A Raisin in the Sun" is a production of Storyline Entertainment and Bad Boy World Wide Entertainment Group in association with Sony Pictures Television.