Ava DuVernay to write and direct ‘Queen Sugar,’ Oprah will star

John Legend, Ava DuVernay, Common attend the Paramount Pictures Golden Globes Post Party at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California on Sunday, January 11, 2015 (Photo: Brandon Clark/ABImages)

Move over Tyler Perry, Selma director Ava DuVernay, is set to bring a little diversity to Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network. According to reports, DuVernay will write, direct and executive produce a new original drama series “Queen Sugar,” inspired by the acclaimed novel Queen Sugar, penned by Natalie Baszile.

Per the press release, “Queen Sugar” chronicles “a spirited woman who leaves her upscale Los Angeles lifestyle behind to claim an inheritance from her recently departed father — an 800-acre sugar cane farm in the heart of Louisiana. Her world and identity are turned upside down as she and her teenage daughter attempt to navigate a new and very different environment while rebuilding their farm from scratch. She is met with curiosity and community, with resistance and romance. It isn’t long before a transformation begins and she realizes that she’s been living a lot farther from her Southern roots than mere miles.”

The project marks DuVernay’s first small screen drama series. Winfrey will also be an executive producer, in addition to snagging a recurring role.

“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” said Oprah Winfrey. “The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show.”

“From the moment I was introduced to the book, I was captivated by the idea of a modern woman wrestling with identity, family, culture and the echoes of history,” said DuVernay. “To bring this kind of storytelling to life alongside Oprah for her network is wildly wonderful. I’m excited about what’s in store.”

It hasn’t been confirmed what role Winfrey will play on the show, but be her first performance on an OWN series.

Production is scheduled to begin later this year. Will you be watching?

R. Hawkins
R. Hawkins

Humble with a hint of Muhammad Ali...

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