Cynthia Erivo to Produce and Star in ‘The Rose’ Remake for Searchlight
By Angelique Jackson
June 20, 2021
Mister D: As if I wouldn’t say anything…I am so torn on this, in fact, a little stunned. I really didn’t think anyone would touch this movie. I know Ms. Cynthia Erivo is a small but powerful ball of talent, and she picked this movie to remake, which leads me to believe she has great taste and huge cajones to take this role on. I’m told she wrote a beautiful letter to Bette about what she was doing. I’m not sure if it was before or after the announcement. I saw Bette’s tweet about it saying ISN’T THIS GREAT? Everybody said Bette was happy about it because of those 3 words, but I am one of those rare personality types, and I picked up different vibes. I’m not saying I’m right, only that I could interpret that in other ways. What else confused me is that it’s supposedly an homage to The Rose which is cool, but it’s going to put a modern spin on the remake, so will Erivo be a rock star, an R & B star, pop star, etc. Plus the original was loosely based on Janis Joplin but was really an amalgam of several female and male rock stars. So, I’m just not even able to think coherently about it.
And the remake seems to be at the awkward stage we’ve all come to know waiting on Midler movies that never materialized. There doesn’t appear to be a script or much of anything else listed. Good that Searchlight is behind it. But at this point, I wouldn’t bet too much on it getting made, just looking at how slow the process is in Hollywood. Cynthia was the performer and writer of the song “Fly Before You Fall” a song in the 2014 movie, Beyond The Lights, which got great reviews and several critics said it was an homage to “The Rose” I had always meant to post about that movie, but just forgot. You can find it a lot on streaming services, so check it out. I will be keeping my eye on this one because I’m very curious as to where they’re going to take this movie.
Cynthia Erivo has set up a remake of the Bette Midler-starring film “The Rose,” signing on to produce and star in the new movie for Searchlight. The Grammy, Tony, and Emmy winner and two-time Oscar nominee will take on the title role in the musical romantic drama, which follows a self-destructive female rock star who struggles to deal with the constant pressures of her career and the demands of those who surround her. But while the new production will pay homage to the classic film, Erivo’s take on the story is said to “put a contemporary lens on the high price of fame.”
Erivo will produce the project with Solome Williams under her newly launched production banner Edith’s Daughter. Williams serves as vice president of development at the label, which has a first-look deal with MRC Television and Civic Center Media.
Richard Ruiz, Searchlight’s director of development, and creative executive Cornelia Burleigh will oversee the project on behalf of the studio. The film’s writer and director are yet to be announced.
The original film — directed by Mark Rydell and starring Midler, Frederic Forrest and the late Alan Bates and Harry Dean Stanton — is loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin and considered by many to be the quintessential film about fame and addiction. The 20th Century Fox movie went on to earn four Oscar nominations, including a best supporting actor nod for Forrest and a best actress nod for Midler, the legendary entertainer’s first.
The new movie is not the only remake on Erivo’s upcoming slate — the actor recently wrapped production on Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Pinocchio,” where she plays the Blue Fairy. The performer most recently starred as Aretha Franklin in Nat Geo’s limited series “Genius: Aretha.” Later this year, Erivo will release her debut album “Ch. 1 Vs. 1” as well as her first children’s book, titled “Remember to Dream, Ebere.”
Erivo earned her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman in 2019’s “Harriet,” while simultaneously earning a nod in the best original song category for the powerful ballad, “Stand Up” (shared with Joshua Brian Campbell). The celebrated stage actor’s Grammy, Emmy, and Tony wins came as a result of her powerhouse performance in the leading role of Celie in the musical version of “The Color Purple.”
Erivo is repped by UTA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management, ID, and Peikoff Mahan.