In 2013, just before “12 Years a Slave” opened in USA theaters, we interviewed members of its key cast (as well as director Steve McQueen), including Alfre Woodard, who told us at the time that she was raising money “to do this fabulous script that actually my husband [Roderick Spencer] wrote,” when we closed our conversation with her, asking what was next.
“He adapted it from a Sheila Williams book called ‘Dancing on the Edge of the Roof.’ We’ve got such a great script. We hope to be shooting that by next summer, and it’s a really great, funny and poignant film. Stephanie Allain is our producer,” Woodard continued.
As we reported earlier this month, principal photography on the film, which will be titled “Juanita,” was set to kick off this spring in Virginia (specifically in Bedford and Central Virginia, including Petersburg).
Netflix has now picked up global rights to “Juanita,” although a release date has yet to be set.
Based on the novel “Dancing on the Edge of the Roof” by Sheila Williams, the movie tells the story of Juanita, a nurse’s aide, mother and grandmother, who breaks free of her tiring life caring for others and sets out on an adventure.
Clark Johnson is directing.
Virginia native Mel Jones (“Dear White People”), Stephanie Allain (“Hustle & Flow”) and Jason Michael Berman (“The Birth of a Nation”) are producing. The trios’ last project, “Burning Sands,” filmed in Petersburg last spring and was an official selection at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. That movie is now available on Netflix.
In addition to Woodard, also appearing in the film are Blair Underwood, Adam Beach, Marcus Henderson and LaTanya Richardson.
If you’ve read the novel, chime in with your reactions to it and how you see it unfolding on screen; if you’d like to read it, click here on the cover below to pick up a copy from Amazon.