Last night, Deadline broke the news that Spike Lee and Showtime are working to develop the filmmaker’s debut She’s Gotta Have It into a half-hour series that would be written and directed by Lee. The project, as described by Deadline, would be a “contemporary look” at the characters introduced in the film — a young woman in Brooklyn and the three men with whom she’s involved — that would explore issues of “race, gender, sexuality, relationships, and the gentrification in Brooklyn.”
Should the series make it to TV, it will join a wave of movie-to-television projects that have surfaced in recent seasons. Though the concept of basing a TV show on a preexisting movie is nothing new — take M*A*S*H, for example — this spring’s Fargo series on FX is an obvious point of comparison. It has respected auteurs who are involved in the TV version (the Coens are executive producers on Fargo), a respected movie inspiration and a substantial gap of years between projects (unlike, for example, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D). That bodes well for She’s Gotta Have It: the Fargo project has been well-received by critics, and its relationship to its source material could provide a working model for Lee and Showtime. Without remaking or rehashing a movie that many fans hold sacrosanct, it uses references, concepts and settings that have already proved their worth on the big screen.
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