A Raisin in the Sun TV Movie, with McDonald, Rashad and Combs, to Debut at Sundance

News   A Raisin in the Sun TV Movie, with McDonald, Rashad and Combs, to Debut at Sundance The ABC television adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun — featuring the cast of the recent Broadway revival (Audra McDonald, Sean Combs, Sanaa Lathan and Phylicia Rashad) — will make its world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Audra McDonald and Sean Combs star in
Audra McDonald and Sean Combs star in "A Raisin in the Sun." Photo by ABC/Kwaku Alston

The debut was announced by Sundance as part of its 2008 festival roster, which is slated to run Jan. 17-27, 2008, in and around Park City, UT. For more information about the festival, visit sundance.org/festival.

Kenny Leon, who staged the Broadway revival, directs the ABC-TV movie, which features the aforementioned stars as well as original cast member Bill Nunn and Ron Cephas Jones, Sean Patrick Thomas and John Stamos. The made-for-TV film will air on ABC Feb. 25, 2008, at 8 PM (ET).

"The ground-breaking drama portrays a brief period of time in the life of the Younger family as they anxiously await the arrival of a $10,000 life insurance check," reads an ABC release. "Everyone in the family has their own ideas about how they plan to use their new-found wealth and are eager for their new lives to start."

The film features the cast of the 2004 revival, including Combs as Walter Lee Younger, McDonald as Ruth Younger, Rashad as Lena Younger and Lathan as Beneatha Younger. McDonald and Rashad earned Tony Awards for their performances; Lathan was Tony-nominated.

Stamos (Nine, "ER") takes on the role of Karl Lindner, Jones (Gem of the Ocean, Our Lady of 121st Street) appears as Willy, Thomas ("Save the Last Dance," Much Ado About Nothing) plays George and Nunn ("Do the Right Thing," "Spider-Man") reprises his role as Bobo. The ensemble also features Justin Martin (The Lion King) as Travis and David Oyelowo ("The Last King of Scotland") as Asagai. The three-hour, small-screen version utilizes a script penned by Paris Qualles, based on the original Hansberry play. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (the TV versions of "Cinderella," "Annie" and the films "Hairspray" and "Chicago") produced the work for Sony Pictures.

A Raisin in the Sun premiered in 1959. It was the first Broadway play written by, directed by and starring African-Americans. Lloyd Richards directed a cast that included Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett — who also appeared in the 1961 film version. The play was also adapted for a 1989 TV movie starring Danny Glover and Esther Rolle and also served as source material for the musical, Raisin.

Sanaa Lathan, Phylicia Rashad, Sean Combs, Audra McDonald and Justin Martin star in "A Raisin in the Sun."
Sanaa Lathan, Phylicia Rashad, Sean Combs, Audra McDonald and Justin Martin star in "A Raisin in the Sun." Photo by ABC/Kwaku Alston
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