Lee Daniels and Oprah Winfrey are teaming up to remake the 1983 Oscar-winning film Terms of Endearment, and, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Daniels plans to put HIV/AIDS in the storyline.
In the original comedy-drama, Shirley MacLaine played the mother of Debra Winger, who is diagnosed with cancer that becomes terminal. The film also starred Jack Nicholson and Jeff Daniels as the women’s love interests. It was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won five: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.
In the remake, which will be set in the 1980s, Oprah will pay the MacLaine role. Daniels says the film’s HIV storyline will revolve around Black men who brought HIV to their female partners.
“I’ve got to tell stories that are important to me, and so many African-American women died,” Daniels said. “I want to make Flap [played by Jeff Daniels in the 1983 film] gay and infect the Debra Winger character. And then we explore the ’80s in a different way.”
Daniels was speaking about the film at Loyola Marymount’s Hollywood Masters series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This isn’t Daniels’s first time addressing HIV and women. He directed the 2009 film Precious, starring Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique, about an abused girl who contracts HIV. He is also one of the creators of the TV show Empire.