Malcolm D. Lee brings The Best Man franchise to an end with The Best Man: Final Chapters

·4 min read

An iconic cinematic franchise is coming to an end.

Almost a decade after The Best Man Holiday, director and writer Malcolm D. Lee is bringing the story of Harper (Taye Diggs), Jordan (Nia Long), Lance (Morris Chestnut), and the rest of the franchise's characters to an end with the Peacock limited series The Best Man: Final Chapters. The new show will catch up with the characters as they continue to evolve, as the series description says, "in the unpredictable stages of midlife crisis meets midlife renaissance." Specifically, it will pick up where the 2013 film left off: with viewers learning that Quentin (Terrence Howard) is getting married.

Digging into the characters, author Harper Stewart will be having an internal debate about his desire to be taken seriously as an artist. The limited series finds him after the success of the biography he wrote about Lance in The Best Man Holiday, which we learn was followed by several commercially successful books. "He's starting to feel a little bit of the pull of artistry versus commerce. Trying to balance those two things is a real struggle for him," Lee says. As a couple, Harper and Robyn Stewart (Sanaa Lathan), who is running a successful Blue Apron-like food subscription service, are doing well but will enter a new season of growth. "They've got their daughter now. They're having great sex," Lee says, "As people do in marriages and relationships, you tend to either grow close or grow further apart." That is true for Robyn and Harper, as well as the other couples, including Candace "Candy" Sparks (Regina Hall) and Julian "Murch" Murchison (Harold Perrineau).

THE BEST MAN: THE FINAL CHAPTERS -- Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Melissa De Sousa as Shelby, Nia Long as Jordan, Regina Hall as Candy, Harold Perrineau as Julian, Sanaa Lathan as Robin, Taye Diggs as Harper -- (Photo by: Peacock)
THE BEST MAN: THE FINAL CHAPTERS -- Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Melissa De Sousa as Shelby, Nia Long as Jordan, Regina Hall as Candy, Harold Perrineau as Julian, Sanaa Lathan as Robin, Taye Diggs as Harper -- (Photo by: Peacock)

Peacock Melissa De Sousa, Nia Long, Regina Hall, Harold Perrineau, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs on 'The Best Man: The Final Chapters'

The Best Man: Final Chapters will also depict the impact of Mia Sullivan's (Monica Calhoun) death. "Lance is in a tailspin when we connect with him. He is not dealing with his grief in the most positive way," Lee teases. Meanwhile, Jordan Armstrong has kept her promise to Mia and is still very involved in her godchildren's lives. However, she is still struggling with a work-life balance, which she blamed for her not being there for Mia after they learned of her cancer diagnosis. "As the season progresses, they both have love and parenting issues to deal with," Lee says.

In addition to whomever Quentin plans to marry, several new faces are entering the picture. We will meet Quentin's father (played by Ron Canada) and a couple new love interests for the Best Man crew. Nicole Ari Parker's high-profile, multi-hyphenate Xiomara Amani, someone from Jordan's past named Demetrius (Brandon Victor Dixon), and Lance's football prodigy son LJ (Eric Scott Ways) are among the new characters.

Lee initially planned to tell this final chapter in two films before it was developed as a limited series with co-showrunner and EP Dayna Lynne North, but he believes the end will respect the characters. "This is a fitting way to tie up the legacy of these characters. I don't have any more stories to tell. Maybe I will in 20 more years, but the way I feel right now, I've gone as far as I can with these characters," Lee explains.

As a whole, The Best Man franchise has delivered a story about Black characters that people got to grow with and follow over the decades. "Before I made The Best Man, [Black audiences] didn't really see themselves represented in this way, so I hope that the folks on screen now are still a reflection of them," he explains.

With the films, and now the limited series, Lee aims for the stories to be relatable to anyone going through relationship, friendship, or career issues. These characters have been a bright spot for representation for more than two decades, a rarity in Hollywood. "They've grown up with these characters, they've identified with them, and they recognize themselves in Harper, Jordan, Robyn, Lance, Quentin, and the other characters," Lee says.

He then adds, "Tune in because you won't see this group for a long time afterward."

The Best Man: Final Chapters premieres Dec. 22 on Peacock.

Make sure to check out EW's Fall TV Preview cover story — as well as all of our 2022 Fall TV Preview content, releasing over 22 days through Sept. 29.

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