Terry McMillan broke the most exciting literary adaptation news of the month on Friday afternoon when she tweeted this to her 263k followers:
So, WAITING TO EXHALE is going to be a TV series. Produced by Lee Daniels. Attica Locke and Tembi Locke are writing. Anthony Hemingway will direct. I lucked out.
— Terry McMillan (@MsTerryMcMillan) November 12, 2020
Waiting to Exhale—the Arizona-set story of four Black women trying to navigate their complex relationships with men and one another—was a publishing juggernaut back in the early 90s, selling over three million copies by the middle of the decade. The now-iconic 1995 movie adaptation—with its all-star cast, led by Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett—was arguably an even bigger cultural phenomenon, grossing $82 million dollars.
Though we don’t yet know who’ll be stepping into Houston and Bassett’s shoes, the TV series already has some considerable star power behind it. Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious, Empire) will produce, with Edgar Award-winning novelist and screenwriter Attica Locke set to write the script alongside her sister, the actress Tembi Locke.
I can think of no better way to break up (yet another) depressing pandemic Monday than by mentally dream-casting the Waiting to Exhale series as you listen to Whitney sing the film’s Grammy-winning title track: