Nov 10 2007
Lee Daniels Directing Push, Monique, Lenny Kravitz

Lee Daniels Bringing “Push” to the Big Screen feat. Mo’Nique and Lenny Kravitz

After Sista Souljah’s “The Coldest Winter Ever,” one of the most memorable, modern, black novels I’ve read is Sapphire’s “Push.” Though it’s second on the list, it will be first to hit the big screen. Lee Daniels, the producer responsible for casting Halle Berry in “Monster’s Ball,” has expanded his ambition to directing movies. His first two films “Shadowboxer” and “The Woodsman” were well received, both notable for their ‘cutting edge’ subject matter, “Push” will continue along that line.

“Push” tells the story of a confused, overweight African-American girl, Claireece Precious Jones. Verbally abused by her mother, sexually abused by her father, her family troubles lead to problems in school. She has no friends, no money, two kids (courtesy of Dad), she’s damn near illiterate, and left to decipher the mess her life is in on her own. It’s work of fiction, yet it’s easy to imagine some girl living the story as we speak. The book reads like the pages of her diary.

“I was left back when I was twelve because I had a baby for my fahver. That was in 1983. I was out of school for a year. This gonna be my second baby. My daughter got Down Sinder. She’s retarded. I had got left back in the second grade too, when I was seven, cause I couldn’t read (and I still peed on myself). I should be in the eleventh grade, getting ready to go into the twelf’ grade so I can gone ‘n graduate. But I’m not. I’m in the ninfe grade.

I got suspended from school cause I’m pregnant which I don’t think is fair. I ain’ did nothin’!

My name is Claireece Precious Jones. I don’t know why I’m telling you that. Guess ‘cause I don’t know how far I’m gonna go with this story, or whether I’m gonna start from the beginning or right from here or two weeks from now.

Two weeks from now? Sure you can do anything when you talking or writing, it’s not like living when you can only do what you doing. Some people tell a story’ n it don’t make no sesne or be true. But I’m gonna try to make sense and tell the truth, else what’s the fucking use? Ain’ enough lies and shit out there already?”

And so the story begins.

Lee Daniels’ adaptation should be solid enough to do the book the justice it deserves. He’ll have personal memories to grab from; his sister had her own troubles. I’m being uh, nice saying troubles, in the NY Times article Daniels gave a loving description of her…
“My sister was an obese crack addict. She had a chicken wing in one hand and crack pipe in the other, and she had the finest white men lined up waiting for her. This is a real person to me.”

The ‘real person’ Daniels was talking about was Mo’nique’s character in “Shadowboxer;” Daniels cast her in “Push” as well.

Thankfully she didn’t get the part of Clarieece. She’s too old for that, but she will play Clarieece’s fat and angry mother. Lenny Kravitz will make his acting debut as a nurse <

< Yes, a nurse.

Paula Patton

Question mark

Paula Patton will play a teacher.

The starring role is played by first time actress, Gabourey Sidibe. Casting a completely new face, Daniels must have seen something in her to carry the film.

Push is in production now, the cameras were last spotted on 123rd and Lenox in Harlem.

Look for it in a theater sometime next year.

Til then, if you haven’t already, grab the book. It’s 192 pages. Easy breezin.

☼ What's Your Opinion? ☼

1 Candylicker Tue, Nov 13, 2007 - 5:47 pm

I read this book years ago and I can not wait for the movie - it’s going to be good!

2 babyGCanada Tue, Nov 13, 2007 - 9:15 pm

nurse? not surprised.. I’ll be delighted if he has to lose his scrubs but other than that isn’t he shy.. I’ve never seen him speak.. this shoul dbe interesting.

mo’nique? the same woman who can’t act.. there are movie stars and then there are actors.. since she’s neither I’m surprised she’s still getting work outside of the BET awards.. that seems more her specialty.. lol I’m so rude.

Push.. tight. haven’t heard of the book.. just might pick it up!

3 babyGCanada Tue, Nov 13, 2007 - 9:18 pm

Thinking about this, I wonder how it will actually do? The only black movies we get anymore are wither pimp-filled ( Hustle&Flow;,American Gangster) or Happy-go-lucky, Family Centric ( What’s that christmas movie called and haven’t we seen it already? )

I hope if it’s actually good, it gets some play…

4 Bronxbombshell Sat, Nov 17, 2007 - 8:39 am

push was an excellent book an easy read I didn’t really care for monster’s ball but this line up should be good i cant wait to see what the leading lady will look like

5 msjackson Wed, Jan 16, 2008 - 11:29 am

i read this book when i was 14 and i am now 25 and it is still one of my favorite novels of all time GO HEAD MR DAINELS KUDOS TO YOU ITS ABOUT TIME SOMEONE RECOGNIZE THIS BOOK AS MORE THEN JUST A BEST SELLING NOVEL I WILL BE FIRST IN LINE TO SEE THIS ONE

6 H.U.H.S. c/o 08' Fri, Jan 25, 2008 - 2:57 pm

I read this book a long time ago thinking they should make a movie out of this. I’m exceited to find out there making a moive. I will be one of the millions of people to go see it.

7 Inari Mon, Jan 28, 2008 - 5:47 pm

I read this book about 5 years ago and it was made me cry.I read it in a day. I couldnt put it down. If everything is in the movie that was in the book it will be hit!
Mr. Daniels how about putting some of Susan Straights novels on the screen too!!

8 lala Thu, Feb 21, 2008 - 10:23 pm

push the movie
omg. this is gonna b a good one

9 NERD Tue, Mar 04, 2008 - 9:03 pm

this book was good
the movie will be even better

10 Avid Reader Wed, Mar 05, 2008 - 9:13 pm

I read this book many years ago, and it remains one of my all time favorite books.  The story although fictional could be any african american family story. Push was the first book I had ever read by the author Sapphire and since reading it I have purchased everything written by her.  Although most have been short stories and poetry which I also enjoy. Push however, is the most profound work of fiction I have ever read! I am excited that this work of art is coming to the big screen and look forward to seeing how the actors and actresses will bring the depth needed to bring this story to life. Mr. Daniels I thank and applaud you for your ability to see and think outside of the box.

11 FINALLY Thu, Mar 13, 2008 - 3:17 pm

I LOVE this book!! I cannot believe it is finally coming the big screen! I read it in a magazine and had to google this to make sure this was true… WOW!

12 Cookiepuss Wed, Mar 19, 2008 - 8:39 pm


13 Hypnotiq Thu, Mar 20, 2008 - 11:18 am

I have waited a long time for this. I featured this book as part of a book club in college. I read it long before that. Its a great story, and I feel that more people should read it. If they don’t Im glad they will at least get a chance to see it. There are so many Precious Jones out there, I hope this book allows them to see that there is light after a storm. This book taught me to keep going, even if I couldn’t see a way out of my circumstance. Please do this book justice! I’m sure you will!

14 Tiffany C. Wed, Apr 16, 2008 - 11:12 pm

i love this book!!!! Sapphire put great details and real life situations into it to connect with the readers, i love it omggg iam sooo excited that this book is recognized and now onto the big screen i’ll be first in line to watch it in the movies and scout outs to my lovely cousin that is in it love uuuuuuuu best of luck and i can’t wait to see u in it muahzzzzzzzzz :D

15 Precious Wed, Apr 23, 2008 - 1:32 am

I read the book several years ago & also wrote a paper on it in college.  I can’t wait for the movie.  This book touched me in many ways to the point where I have a love/hate relationship with it. So yes, I feel some kinda way about it & cant wait for the movie.~~~Precious

16 Maricela Thu, May 01, 2008 - 1:55 am

I’m reading this book for a humanities class and I too read the book in a few days.  The book has so much detail on Precious’ life that you can’t put it down.  Why do some people state it is a fictional work?  I thought it was based on true events.

17 buddah miles Mon, May 19, 2008 - 1:24 am

I read this book when it first came out and have read it every year since.  It is one of the most inspirational books I have ever read.  I can’t wait for the movie…

18 betsy stevens Sat, Aug 02, 2008 - 2:35 am

I JUST SAW A SCREENING!!!!  this is oscar worthy oooooghhhh my go you have no idea how good this will be the entire audience laughed and cried this is what the color purple was twenty years ago

19 Mimi Tue, Sep 16, 2008 - 10:57 am

My roommate gave me this book when I was in college in early 2000.  This book is an eye-opening, heart wrenching story that should be considered a “must read” in EVERY child’s life. I can’t wait to see the movie!

20 DiDi Thu, Sep 18, 2008 - 7:15 pm

I read the book many years ago and I loved the book. The book wroke me up on how children live with problems at home.  I express this book to all my friends and to the students where I work.  I can’t wait to see the movie.

21 Teach Fri, Sep 19, 2008 - 5:29 pm

After reading Monique’s article in this months Essence, I went and brought the book.  My local Barnes and Nobles only had one copy!  I read the whole novel in one day!  I wish I could use this in my middle school english class but the language and situations are too risque even thought I have a 8th grader that is in Precious’ situation right now.  I can’t wait to see the movie.  I have suggested the book to all my friends and we are getting together to discuss it this weekend.

22 Brizee_Fae Tue, Sep 23, 2008 - 8:16 pm

I read the book my freshman year of college and loved it. I cant wait for the movie…this is something I would really like to see.

23 Mothers_Daughter Tue, Sep 23, 2008 - 10:24 pm

This book is so profound and important.Though it’s fiction I myself coming up in the late 70’s early 80’s in harlem just thought and connected with this piece. I have even allowed my 14 year old daughter to read this book which was a personal decision and a tough one…But a good one as well and i can hardly wait for the day This Movie comes out.I WILL BE FIRST ON LINE..

24 absolutely anxious Fri, Oct 03, 2008 - 12:20 pm

i have googled this info for maybe 2 weeks now and have not seen anything regarding a release date. Where would the pilot have been located? i absloutely beleive in this project and feel like it seemingly has not gotten the green light. Can someone please update me or update the World Wide Web with info…

25 azali Fri, Oct 10, 2008 - 12:47 pm

I saw a sneak preview last night in NYC - it is a wonderfully moving movie.  I hadn’t read the book but I’m going to go get it this weekend.  A MUST SEE!

26 Renee Sun, Oct 12, 2008 - 1:33 am

Wow!! I read about this in movie in a Essence magazine reading about Monique. I’ve always liked monique as a queen of comedy and as nikki on the parkers and the other movies she’s beeen in hair show and the kinda recent one with martin lawerence. so i will definitely be seeing this one.. but i haven’t read the book though. i guess i’ll pick it up.

27 Dawn Sat, Oct 18, 2008 - 5:36 pm

Ok… I was lucky enough to catch an early screening having no idea what I was getting into & this film is INCREDIBLE!  You won’t be disapointed, see it, it’ll change your life.

28 luca Mon, Oct 20, 2008 - 6:02 pm

i also was lucky enough to catch Push at a private screening in the city…i had no idea what i was about to see because the organizers would not give me and my girlfriends details. but a free movie was cool with us! Well well well…i don’t know where to start. the music (hot), the acting (too real), the production (real),the directing (fantastic), the cast choices (shocking but very good), true to the book (very), funny & sad. At times I did not know if i was crying because it was sad or laughing because it was funny…my emotional lines seemed to be a blur. I have never seen a film like this before. I learned it was made by the guy who did Monster’s Ball, The Woodsman and Shadow Boxer. I had seen them all. His name is Lee Daniels….this guy is for real!!!!! Why does Spike and Tyler get all the press making the tired films they make when this guy is making real films that hit home in a low down deep part of the soul????? i could go on and on BUT you gotten see this film to appreciate what real film making is all about - no fluff allowed!!! just realness from start to finish. I can’t find a release date on-line. If any one knows when it will open please blog the date. I hope this film does not just go to dvd - it needs to be seen by EVERYBODY.

29 Trust Sat, Oct 25, 2008 - 2:06 am

I loved this book. Loved it. I read the book at the age of 15. And did something that I rarely do….read it twice a few years later.

Compared to the African American authors now who try to portray books about the negative side of AA culture, none compare to the originator Donald Goines followed up by Sista Souljah’s “The Coldest Winter Ever” and Sapphire’s “PUSH”.

These authors make you feel that you are there, living in the characters footsteps or reliving details of your own life.

Excellent read and hopefully a superb movie!

30 Cryssy Sat, Nov 08, 2008 - 7:21 pm

this book is really good. I’m so happy that they made this book into a movie. Another book that they should make into a film is “Flyy Girl”.

31 nathan-pushed Mon, Dec 22, 2008 - 5:18 am

this book is absolutely astonishing. I read it in 6 hours… did not put it down. i laughed. i cried hysterically. I am so excited for the movie, does anyone know when it will be released?
mo’nique will do very well, shes very underrated….
go big girls

32 Zebrawoman Mon, Dec 29, 2008 - 12:12 am


33 Gracious October Sun, Jan 18, 2009 - 2:33 am

I read the very gritty novel many years ago in my teen years. I think the movie will tell the stories of many young women. I hope it uplifts them and motivates us all to reach out to these young women in our communities and help pull them through.

I am surprised the article did not mention Mariah Carey’s role in the movie.

34 cb Sun, Jan 18, 2009 - 8:58 pm

I have read this book three times and I love it. Can’t wait to see the movie.

35 diamond Tue, Jan 20, 2009 - 7:19 pm

i’m so excited
this book is really good
i think it’s going to be a powerful movie

36 Desi Sat, Jan 24, 2009 - 2:48 pm

Saw the film at Sundance. Great film. All the actors—especially Gabby and Mo’Nique—did a wonderful job. People are really going to be surprised by Mo’Nique’s performance.

37 lacidar Mon, Jan 26, 2009 - 8:51 pm

The movie is AMAZING!!! I LOVED IT!!!

38 babyGCanada Tue, Feb 03, 2009 - 8:46 pm

when the heck did it come out???

39 LEW Sun, Feb 08, 2009 - 3:24 am

The movie is not out yet but, there are some clips of it on the net. Judging from the clips, Mo Nique stepped her game up on this. I never cared for her acting but it looks like she brought her A-game for this one. Ya’ll know that the concerns of voluptuous women is Mo Nique’s calling so, you know she BROUGHT IT. CAN’T WAIT to see this one!!!

40 Shady Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - 2:19 pm

I read this book, it was awesome.  I have told everyone I know about it, and urged them to read it also.  I can’t wait to see Ms Precious Jones on the big screen.  I am a police officer in a big city.  There are so many Precious Jones’s out there looking for help.  I think every teenage girl should read PUSH.  Thank you so much!!!

41 sandra Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - 10:55 am

I read this book years ago and can’t wait to see the movie.  I left work EARLY yesterday evening trying to get to the movies in 7 minutes to see “Push”——only to find out it WASN’T this “Push”.... I’d already bought my ticket by the time I figure that out…. :(

42 Chris G. Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - 12:14 pm

I hear you Sandra.. “Getting to the movies in 7 minutes,” I thought you had a sneak preview pass.
Lee Daniels didn’t anticipate any other “Push” movies coming out before his own. To sort of clear things up, he changed the name to “Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire”

Of course everyone, including myself still refer to it as “Push.” Who has time for all of that ‘based on the novel’ stuff? wink

43 Josie Thu, Feb 12, 2009 - 1:03 am

I am so happy this is going to become a movie! I cant wait to see it. I think this, The Coldest Winter Ever and Random Family are all books that should be mandatory readings in high schools across America if not already. I would love to see those adapted into film as well. I am looking forward to seeing the film!

44 strawderboy Sun, Feb 22, 2009 - 10:30 am

i saw the preview in the movies and isaid mama we have to see this movie.

45 Bre Sun, Mar 01, 2009 - 9:42 pm

I love that Mo’Nique continues to shed light on issues of abuse and violence.

She should hook up with T.I. and E. Walter Smith and do major campaign.  Check out what they are doing

46 rochelle Tue, Mar 03, 2009 - 2:25 pm

This was the first book i read that had me hooked now i spend alot of money weekly on new books. But i can never forget precious and her story in made cry and wonder why how could someone go thru this hard ship called life alot of people are going to be shocked but no matter her sercomstance she over turned it all in the end even with the news she was given.ANy way i thak you for puting this movie down it was well deseved and needed monique much love only you would go this hard. hope this movie reaches alot of young people to help them over come trials in their and teach them self love.

47 Dani Wed, Mar 11, 2009 - 12:48 pm


The idea of making this novel into a film to hit the big screen (instead of going straight to dvd) is doing a MAJOR service to the public.  This book has transformed and touched so many people, myself included, and it should be shared with the many people who know nothing about the book (hopefully, it will urge people to buy this and Sapphire’s other books).  I’m anxiously awaiting the release and will probably see it more than once, just as I have read the book countless times.  I’m routing so hard for this movie to do well in the box office.  I saw the preview a couple weeks ago and this looks like a movie that will actually do it’s novel justice.

48 Proud Black American Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - 1:55 am

Not From Africa….Stupid

Why has the majority of Blacks in this country bought into this stupid idea that we are African-American??? I am not from africa and neither were my peeps, nor their peeps. I asked some guys what color they were and all of them said they were african-american!! Do you see what i am getting at here. Yes, i have heard tooooo many times that our ancestors came from afica….you know, the same standard reply from about 95% of the people you speak to on this issue. If africa is the ” Motherland” where all life began then that would make all humans from africa, including the whites, wouldnt it? But you dont hear them calling themselves african-americans, because that would make them less american and that they are not from this country, which they believe to be theirs. We as Black americans have just as much right to this country as the whites do, and are just as american…It is stupidity that leads those to use the phrase African-American to catagorize the Black Americans in this country, not that they are dumb, because there are a lot of “Educated” Blacks that use this stupid phrase…Just think about this question…This is what I asked the guys who answered that they were african-americans…If a WHITE person that was born and raised in Africa came and live in America, would that make him and African-American???

Think outside the Politically Correct Box Black men and lets earn back the true love and respect of our Black women. Free your mind and the ass will follow !

My next topic…Why does over 95% of Black Americans vote Democratic when we are more closely aligned with Republicans??

Not From Africa….Stupid

49 shoa Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - 6:23 pm

I can’t wait to see this movie and i would really love it if you brought coldest winter ever to the big screen also. I would also enjoy seeing “MIDNIGHT” the novel by sister soulja brought to the big screen. I am really glad that you have decided to make this novel into a movie and hope that you plan on doing the same with sister soulja’s novels!

50 nikki Tue, Mar 17, 2009 - 5:19 pm

After readin this book , i took a better look at life and thank god for the family and the people he surrounded me with . i loved it

51 april Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - 1:22 am


52 Lesly Sat, Jul 18, 2009 - 10:11 pm


I would like to know, where can I watch or purchase this Movie (PUSH by Lee Daniels/ Saphire)? I’m in los Angeles CA.


53 lb Tue, Jul 28, 2009 - 11:07 pm

When will the movie PUSH based on the book written by Saphire be coming to Cali?

54 Chris G. Wed, Jul 29, 2009 - 10:25 am

The movie was renamed “PRECIOUS, Based On the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” Currently it is making its way through the film festival circuit. A limited release in theaters is scheduled for November 6. Limited meaning most major cities. Not sure that folks in Kansas will be checking for it.

55 h!zZ wiFey* Thu, Jul 30, 2009 - 2:11 am

wow ....thats cool…. the book was great….the movie should do great also….. i read this book when i was like 13…my mom was acting all stank about letting me read it because it was sooo detailed (grown people but i read it anyway….im thinking whats the bigg deal its only a book?... THAT WAS DEFINITELY AN UNDERSTATEMENT…. WOORDD!!

56 Kelly Thu, Nov 05, 2009 - 7:47 am

I bought a book written by Zane while waiting in the Airport one morning. I began to read it and realized I had read it before. I took it back and seen “Push”. I read the book in about a day. There wasn’t a page that did not shock me or make me want to cry. I had people at work asking me what I was reading. I had them read one paragraph and they were at a lost for words. I am eager to see the movie. I hope people start to wake up soon and stop abusing our children the way they do. “Precious, you are in my prayers”.

57 MrsLA85 Fri, May 07, 2010 - 4:59 am

This is sad because this is really my life story except i didnt get preg and i was molested by my mothers byfrnd and she witness it and done nothing about it. Till this day she is still the same way and I havent been around her in 13 yrs..

58 Amr Thu, Oct 25, 2012 - 3:30 am

This is my all-time favorite book ever. I first read it my fsaehmrn year in high school, three years ago, during a very rough time in my life and I absolutely fell in love with it. I loved the style, I LOVED the characters, I loved the story. I’m using part of the first page as my senior quote and making my book club read it this month. I’m super excited for all the activities in this program!