(start a rumor monday...)
winfrey and berry discussing their eyes in january 2005
with success of their eyes winfrey, berry create production company; set to remake imitation of life
14. march. 2005-- with almost 25 million americans tuning in to see halle berry star as zora neale hurston's janie in the film adaptation of the literary classic, their eyes were watching god two sundays ago, representatives for both oprah winfrey and halle berry announced this morning that the two intend to capitalize on that success, and launch a production company.
'it is my pleasure to announce that oprah winfrey and halle berry have officially come together and created a production company. this company will mostly focus on bringing literary texts to the small screen,' winfrey's publicist said during an early morning press conference today.
the duo's first project will be a tag team effort both in front and behind the camera. set to begin producton later this year, berry and winfrey will executive produce and star in a remake of the douglas sirk version of the classic, imitation of life. winfrey will play annie johnson, and berry will take on the role of her daughter, mary jane. though no one has been named to play the part of lora meredith made famous by lana turner, rumors have already spread that julia roberts may sign up for the role..
'after their eyes, imitation of life is oprah's favorite love story,' the publicist announced. 'ms. winfrey believes that both she and ms. berry were born to reprise these roles for an entirely new audience.'
along with imitation of life, the publicist announced the long list of projects berry and winfrey have in the works, all of which will star the oscar award winner and star of catwoman. their second project will be a film adaptation of nella larsen's, passing, the story of two light-skinned women living in the early 20th century, one of which is passing for white. berry will play both irene redfield and clare kendry. the duo will also make larsen's quicksand, along with frances e.w. harper's iola leroy, both of which have mulatto women at the center of their stories. berry may also dress in drag to play the nameless narrator in a film version of james weldon johnson's the autobiography of an ex-coloured man. susan lori-parks has been chosen to pen all of the screenplays.
when asked if these projects were quite ambitious given the lackluster reviews their eyes... received, winfrey's publicist responded, 'ms. winfrey is not interested in any negativity, as it prevents her from becoming her best self. ms. winfrey is not concerned with what reviewers will say. she is interested in the process. for her, making a film is like giving birth. besides, when hurston's book was published in 1937, it wasn't well-received. it is now a literary classic. we believe the same will be true for the film version of their eyes. years from now, we'll look back and realize the gem that winfrey produced. she is sure of it. besides, the numbers don't lie. on the evening of march sixth, everybody was watching oprah, i mean, god.' he concluded, 'tragic mammy productions will continue to bring african american literature to the small screen. ms. berry and ms. winfrey believe that it is part of their purpose.'
uh, i guess they mean well.
language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison