It’s Steve McQueen week here on S&A!
On the heels of news that he’s teamed up with Harry Belafonte to produce a film based on the life of the great Paul Robeson, the revered filmmaker/artist has also re-teamed with his "12 Years a Slave" producer and financier New Regency, for a big screen adaptation of the British TV series "Widows," which aired in 1983, and told the story the widows of 3 crime bosses
killed during a robbery attempt, who are being pressured by the police, as well as a rival group of thieves intent on taking
over their husbands’ crime business, and all that the widows do in reaction to, and to eliminate both problems, including bringing on a 4th woman and pulling off a heist of their own.
In the original, the 3 widows are played by white actresses, but the 4th woman who’s enlisted, was played by a black actress in Eva Mottley (photo at left).
McQueen’s adaptation will be a feature film, not a TV series, and set in the U.S.A., but no word on casting yet – specifically, whether the racial make-up of the original will transfer, or whether McQueen will deviate from the original. According to THR, it will be his follow-up to "12 Years a Slave," not the Paul Robeson project, with shooting eyed for next year.
The producers of the Oscar-winning "The King’s Speech," will co-produce alongside McQueen.
McQueen is in very rare air right now – a black filmmaker, universally loved and respected, across all racial and ethnic boundaries, who is in a position to do almost anything he wants to do for his next project, as the world awaits in anticipation to learn what exactly that will be. He’s currently developing a series for HBO, and, as already noted, plans to direct a feature film on the life of Paul Robeson.
I’m not at all familiar with the original "Widows" TV series, but I did find several episodes in full, on YouTube, so you can check them all out if you’re interested. I certainly will at some point. Below you’ll find season 1, episode 1, 2 and 3 of the series: