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Beaches Lifetime remake: Nia Long playing Barbara Hershey's role

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Desiree Navarro/WireImage; Touchstone/Getty Images

Lifetime is giving Idina Menzel a partner in crime its planned Beaches remake, as the network announced Tuesday it has cast actress Nia Long in one of the the upcoming TV movie’s lead roles.

Long (Big Momma’s House, Uncle Buck) will star as Hillary Whitney, a character played by Barbara Hershey in the Oscar-nominated original. The 1988 film follows the 30-year friendship between two women, a New York City performer, CC Bloom (originally played by Bette Midler), and Hillary, a San Francisco-based lawyer.

The Lifetime version, which began production Monday in Vancouver, shifts the film’s setting from east to west, however, with Menzel portraying C.C. as an aspiring singer from Los Angeles whose path crosses with Hillary, the “daughter of a prominent civil rights lawyer who struggles to find her own destiny,” according to a press release.

The remake will also feature updated renditions of classic songs used in the Garry Marshall feature, including “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “The Glory of Love” in addition to new tracks recorded specifically for the Lifetime movie.

Denise Di Novi (Crazy Stupid Love) and Alison Greenspan (If I Stay) are executive producers on the project, which is being directed by Allison Anders (Ring of Fire) from a script co-written by Bart Barker (Honeymoon With Harry) and Nikole Beckwith (Stockholm, Pennsylvania).

Lifetime will air Beaches sometime in 2017.

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