Spike Lee has been having a rather stunning productive streak going on as of recent. His last film, Chi-Raq, was easily one of the best film of last year but he’s been making plenty of very good or great films beyond that. Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Red Hook Summer, and his Oldboy remake are all exhilarating works made by a distinct and distinguished visual artist, each one speaking to matters that are both intimately personal and raucously political. He’s also been making some great documentaries, from Bad 25 to Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, and he was set to start on his first TV series – an adaptation of his brilliant debut film, She’s Gotta Have It – with Showtime up until the network dropped the project.
Well, where Showtime saw something too dicey or simply not viewer-friendly in their mind, Netflix saw something quite promising. As THR reports today, the popular streaming service has ordered 10 episodes of She’s Gotta Have It, which follows the doings of a young, sexually liberated woman who is carrying on a variety of affairs and romances. In the original film, one of those men, a sneaker-obsessed wise-ass named Mars Blackmom, was played by Lee, while Tommy Redmond Hicks and John Canada Terrell played the other two suitors for Nola Darling, the aforementioned young woman played by Tracy Camilla Johns.
Released in 1986, the film remains one of Lee’s very best: uncompromising, inventive, insightful, and shot through with raucously impulsive yet exacting visual energy. Lee won’t appear in the new series – at least, as far as we know – but he is set to direct the entire first season and at least partially write the season as well. It’s an apt time for the series to find a new home, as last month marked the film’s 30th anniversary, and it’s a testament to the man who created that film that 30 years later, he’s still trying out new formats and scrapping to get his work made no matter what. And for once, an adaptation of a previously released movie sounds like a great idea from the get-go.