Shonda Rhimes Is Bringing Her Midas Touch to the Movies

By Joanna Robinson

It's been more than a decade since "Grey’s Anatomy" premiered on ABC, and Shonda Rhimes' iron grip on her TV empire is stronger than ever.

"Deadline" called Rhimes one of the 2016 Upfronts Overachievers thank to the five shows — "Grey’s," "Still Star-Crossed," "Scandal," "How To Get Away With Murder," and "The Catch" — she'll have on one network next year. But Shondaland isn't just for television anymore. Rhimes has her sights set on the movie business and her first project seems like the perfect fit.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rhimes is in negotiations for the life rights to a group of Detroit women known as the Dare Divas. The four African-American women have taken a live-life-to-the-fullest mantra online and have gained such popularity that the group’s founder, Sheri Hunter, landed a book deal. Looks like she may get a movie deal out of it, too.

THR reports: The Dare Divas were formed after Sheri Hunter lost her husband suddenly and, when counseling didn't work for her, decided to deal with her grief by having experiences that made her appreciate life. She recruited three of her closest friends, Angenette, Brenda, and Mia, and undertook a worldwide trip. They continued their wild ways, going skydiving, race car driving, white water rafting, cliff diving, and more traveling.

Before Rhimes launched Shondaland, she got her start writing films like the Britney Spears road trip vehicle "Crossroads" and the Anne Hathaway Eurotrip vehicle "Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement." Rhimes funneled what she knew about writing for a certain kind of protagonist into creating Ellen Pompeo’s Dr. Meredith Grey, the WASP-y lead of "Grey's Anatomy." But as Shondaland expanded, the women of Rhimes’s show became more diverse. From supporting characters like Chandra Wilson's Dr. Miranda Bailey on "Grey's Anatomy" to Viola Davis's Emmy-winning lead role on "How to Get Away With Murder," Rhimes (and her spreading influence) substantially shifted the demographics for actresses on network television.

So it makes sense that Rhimes would want to return to film and this time write for women who aren’t all white. Sheri Hunter and her friends are still the kind of women who are not as well-represented in Hollywood as they might be. But thankfully, in Shondaland, they're everywhere.

Learn more about Rhimes by watching her exclusive MAKERS story above.

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