Waiting to Exhale is being adapted for a whole new generation. The beloved novel from Terry McMillan was first made into a hit 1995 film and now, it’s getting the TV treatment with the help of Lee Daniels.
The author first announced the news on Twitter, revealing that the 1992 book is going to be turned into a TV series produced by Daniels, the filmmaker behind Empire, The Butler and the upcoming biopic The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. It’s set to be written by sisters, producer Attica Locke (Empire, Little Fires Everywhere) and TV actress Tembi Locke, and directed by Anthony Hemingway (Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.).
The news of the TV series comes 25 years after the film directed by Forest Whitaker and starring Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon was released in theaters. The film was a box office success, making over $67 million in North America, and garnered a MTV Movie Award nomination for Breakthrough Performance for Rochon.
The film was also noted for its popular, multi-platinum soundtrack produced by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. The compilation produced several chart-topping singles, including “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” by Houston, “Let It Flow” by Toni Braxton and “Sittin’ Up in My Room” by Brandy. Nominated for 11 GRAMMYs, including Album of the Year, the soundtrack took home one award, Best R&B Song for Houston’s single.
Edmonds, who wrote all the original songs for the album, reflected on the legacy of the soundtrack earlier this year. “I was told, ‘What would their voices be like at that particular moment?’” he says of finding inspiration in the film’s various iconic scenes, including the moment Bassett’s character lights a bunch of clothes and a car on fire.
While the soundtrack yielded so many hit singles, Edmonds’ favorite song is “It Hurts Like Hell” by Aretha Franklin. The producer recalls that she recorded it one take.