The team behind Just Wright said getting the romantic comedy to the big screen was a long–but rewarding–process.
Nowadays, most live-action movies can be developed, produced, released to theaters and sent to DVD in less than two years. However, Just Wright–which opens today–had a much longer journey to the big screen.
“Queen Latifah came to me and the writer, Michael Elliot, seven years ago saying she wanted to do a love story set against the backround of the NBA,” Just Wright producer Debra revealed on the red carpet at the film’s premiere. “So here we are.”
Apparently there were many twists and turns on the road to getting the movie produced. Debra told S2S, however, that she expected to get turned around a few different times while trying to produce Just Wright.
“Every movie is a challenge and an African-American love story is an even greater challenge in today’s industry. It’s as tough today as it’s always been,” Debra said. “You work hard, you have good ideas, you fight for them. You have people like Queen Latifah to partner with, to fight the battles.”
Once it looked like Just Wright had gotten the green light, the production team turned to Brown Sugar writer Michael to make the queen’s dream a reality. “I loved the script from the very beginning,” Debra said.
[Warning: There are some spoilers ahead. To skip past them, click here.]
Just Wright focuses on physical therapist Leslie Wright, who is on an unsuccessful search for her Mr. Right. She bumps into NBA hunk Scott McKnight at a gas station one night, and in an attempt to hook her man, she enlists the help of her godsister Morgan Alexander (played by Paula Patton).
The plan backfires on Leslie when Morgan makes a connection with Scott at a party. Things with Morgan and Scott cool off just as quickly as they heated up when he’s injured during a game, and she splits. Instead of leaving Scott hanging, Leslie steps in to help him get back on his feet and off the bench.
While Just Wright has its share of sentimental moments, the movie had us giggling from beginning to end. S2S is seriously considering checking the movie out again! That’s great news for Michael, who really put his heart into the script.
“I wanted to do something that I was going to be proud of as a Black writer who’s dedicated to writing movies for African Americans,” Michael told us. “I just come up with things that I think would appeal to me, and, hopefully, there’s a market for them.”
We’ll find out how much of a market there is on Monday when box offices report the weekend’s ticket sales.
– Sonya Eskridge
Reporting by Ericka Boston