Lee’s 1986 film “She’s Gotta Have It,” resurfaces this month in a 10-episode Netflix series. The story focuses on a young woman in three relationships who refuses to choose between three simultaneous lovers. Shot primarily in black and white and made with a shoe-string budget, the film launched Lee’s directing career.
Actress DeWanda Wise leads the cast as Nola Darling, an uncompromising woman in her late twenties struggling to define herself. In the comedy Darling divides her time among her friends, her Job and her three lovers: the cultured model, “Greer Childs,” the protective investment banker, “Jamie Overstreet,” and “Mars Blackmon,” the character played by Lee.
Nola is not who people may think she should be — she is outspoken, complicated, progressive, unapologetic, passionate, and sexual.
“It was my wife … a producer in her own right, who had the vision to take my film from the big screen and turn it into an episodic series,” Lee commented. “It had not occurred to me at all. Tonya saw it plain as day. I didn’t.”
The series joins Netflix’s lineup of TV-to-movie adaptations. All ten episodes of “She’s Gotta Have It” will be available to stream on Netflix on Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, 2017.
Lee shot the original film in 12 days and mentions it as the toughest film of his career to finance. Lee, who created and produced the show, is set to direct all 10 episodes of the series.
Other tv characters include: Nola’s friends Clorinda Bradford (played by Margot Bingham from “Barbershop 3”), Shemekka Epps (Chyna Layne from “Precious”), and Rachel (Elise Hudson). Nola’s three lovers are: Greer Childs (Cleo Anthony from “Divergent”), Jamie Overstreet (played by
Lyriq Bent from “The Book of Negroes”), and Mars Blackmon, a character portrayed by Lee in the ’86 film, will be played by “Hamilton” alum Anthony Ramos.
Lee’s wife Tonya Lewis Lee is the show’s executive producer with Barry Michael Cooper and Lynn Nottage tagged as producers.