While Selma director Ava DuVernay was inexplicably overlooked for a Best Director nomination at the Academy Awards – a decision that drew the ire of Peter Travers alongside “Richard Sherman” and “Marshawn Lynch” – she isn’t letting the Oscar voters’ oversight slow her down: The filmmaker has lined up an original series for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network, with Winfrey herself set to have a reoccurring role on the show, Variety reports.
DuVernay will write, direct and executive produce the dramatic series based on author Natalie Baszile’s novel Queen Sugar, about an upscale black family in Los Angeles that moves back to the family’s sugar cane farm in Louisiana. “From the moment I was introduced to the book, I was captivated by the idea of a modern woman wrestling with identity, family, culture and the echoes of history,” DuVernay told Variety. “To bring this kind of storytelling to life alongside Oprah for her network is wildly wonderful. I’m excited about what’s in store.”
It’s unclear what role Winfrey will play on the show, but it will mark the first time she has acted on an OWN series. “I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” Winfrey said. “The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show.” Production is scheduled to begin later this year.
Winfrey previously produced and portrayed civil rights activist Annie Lee Cooper in Selma, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards. Peter Travers also named the Martin Luther King, Jr. film one of the 10 Best Films of 2014.