The 1983 tear-jerker revolved around a diagnosis of terminal cancer.
Now director Lee Daniels has revealed that his remake of Terms Of Endearment will include a shocking plot about black men who infect their female partners with HIV/AIDS.
Daniels talked about his movie, starring Oprah Winfrey as Shirley MacLaine’s character, at Loyola Marymount’s Hollywood Masters series with The Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Galloway on March 22.
‘I’ve got to tell stories that are important to me, and so many African-American women died,’ Daniels told the audience about his version of the film, set in the 1980s.
In the original, widow Aurora, played by Shirley, and daughter, Emma, played by Debra Winger, have a strong bond that breaks when Emma marries teacher Flap, Jeff Daniels, against her mother’s wishes.
After Flap cheats, Emma returns to her mother but soon learns she has terminal cancer. In the hospital, supported by Aurora, she tries to make peace with Flap and her children.
‘I want to make Flap gay and infect the Debra Winger character,’ Daniels continued.
‘And then we explore the ’80s in a different way.’ Terms Of Endearment earned 11 Oscar nominations, winning five including Best Picture, Best Director for James L. Brooks and Best Actress for Shirley.Oprah previously worked with Daniels on The Butler in 2013.Meanwhile, the director revealed another nugget of information about his Empire spin-off Star, saying it will be set in Las Vegas.
And he also said that he had begun therapy, something he has mentioned many times before. ‘They say it works,’ Daniels mused. ‘I’ll find out.’
Different take: Director Lee Daniels, seen at an even in Los Angeles in January, will remake 1983 weepy Terms Of Endearment, starring Oprah Winfrey, around an AIDS-based plot b-error
Out and about: Oprah Winfrey, pictured in New York in January, will play matriarch Aurora, the part that won Shirley MacLaine an Oscar
Mother and daughter: Shirley played the mother of Debra Winger’s character Emma
Tragic tale: In the 1983 film, Emma dies of cancer. Daniels intends to change the illness to AIDS ‘I’ve got to tell stories that are important to me, and so many African-American women died’