Deadline is reporting that Spike Lee is teaming up with Showtime to develop a series based on his 1986 feature film debut, “She’s Gotta Have It.” Will this project do for the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn what HBO’s “Girls” has done for Greenpoint? Is Nola Darling the next Hannah (or perhaps that should be the other way around since Spike Lee’s film sexually liberated black heroine came first)?
Showtime has put in development a half-hour series adaptation that updates the film, with Lee set to write and attached to direct. The project is taking a new, contemporary look at the characters and will explore Lee’s unique and provocative points of view about race, gender, sexuality, relationships, and the gentrification in Brooklyn. Showtime is a fitting home for the project as the pay cable network has built a whole slate of half-hour series that straddle comedy and drama in the tone of She’s Gotta Have It.
Twenty-eight years ago, “She’s Gotta Have It” was considered to be so racy that the MPAA originally gave it an X-rating, and Lee had to re-edit it 3 times before it was awarded a more marketable R. Still, the film broke ground for black filmmakers and ushered in a wave of independently-produced movies with black characters and themes during the 1980s and 1990s.