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Last week, when it was reported that Shaunie O’Neal had partnered with Tracey Edmonds to bring ‘Basketball Wives’ to the big screen, there were more than a few eye rolls from folks who couldn’t believe that the sh-t talking, bottle throwing, running across table foolery would actually be worthy of a movie. Shaunie recently sat down with Vibeto clear up any misconceptions of the film which is currently in development stages. According to Shaunie, the characters are completely fictional, the film will be multi-racial and it will not involve women sitting around lunching and arguing all day. The film will be a love story about a young wife and will aim to empower men and women.
Shaunie on what the movie will be about
It’s fictional. It’s a movie, so it has nothing… I see people on Twitter saying, “Oh god, you guys gon’ take that and turn it into a movie?” You don’t take a reality show and make it a movie. At least I wouldn’t. It’s not a quote, unquote “Basketball Wives movie.” Even though it has to do with basketball life, it’s not actually taking Basketball Wives from TV and making it a movie. And it’s not about women sitting around arguing or lunching all the time. It’s an actual story. It’s a love story. It’s an empowering story. It’s funny. It’s life. It’s similar—we’ve taken a girl who’s just going into the NBA life and experiencing things and showing the whole story. She learns from the organization. She learns from other wives. And by the end of the story, it’s empowering for women and men. It’s so nothing like the TV show at all. No comparison.
On she partnered with Tracey Edmonds
Yeah, I brought her the concept and the idea. It was important for me to have other outlets outside of Basketball Wives to represent myself and who I really am and what I really would like to put out there. Because, again, I did reality TV and I can’t control that. I can’t control how everybody acts and what everybody sees. This, I can control [laughs]. If I come and I say, “This is what I envision, this is what I feel, this is what I see,” with the help of others, we sit around and collaborate on how this vision can come alive and how we can make it entertaining and how we can make people interested. And [Tracey] understood what I was saying. She got where I was coming from. We always wanted to work together on something, be it TV, movie or whatever. We sat around and talked about this for a couple months and I was so eager to make it happen because I needed some other ways to almost redeem myself. Like, this is not what I’m about people, [laughs] so let me show you. And it’s not my only way of showing but it’s a huge start. And it’s one that I know I’m gonna be 110 percent proud of.
On whether the main characters will be black
We haven’t casted yet, but I wouldn’t call it a Black woman’s story. It’s going to be a multiracial cast. Of course, there will be Black women ’cause most of the NBA seems to be. But it is going to be multiracial.
On what stage the film is currently in
It’s really early. We literally just closed the deal Monday. Now we’re just getting all the next steps ready. Our writer is finishing the script and then we’ll be ready to do some auditions. This is a first for me and Tracy has been absolutely wonderful in taking me under her wing and making me her partner for this. She’s been awesome on this step by step. ’Cause I’m like, ‘Okay what happens next? And how do we do this?’ She’s done this a few times; she’s a veteran, so she knows what she’s doing. I’m enjoying putting in my in the whole process.
Read the entire interview over at Vibe