On May 29, 1992, “Sister Act,” starring Whoopi Goldberg, was released in movie theaters. The singing-nun comedy grossed around $230 million worldwide, making it one of the most successful comedies of the early 1990s. “Sister Act” also generated a popular sequel in 1993, “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit,” as well as a successful 2006 Broadway musical. A testament to the popularity of the “Sister Act” franchise, a remake of the original film is currently in the works.
The premise of the film is that lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier (Goldberg) witnesses her mobster boyfriend murder someone, so the police decide to protect Deloris from the mob by putting her in the witness protection program…at a convent. Her new identity is Sister Mary Clarence at St. Katherine’s Parish, located in a seedy San Francisco neighborhood. Unsurprisingly, Deloris struggles to fit into convent life. However, she does manage to make some friends, including Sister Mary Patrick (Kathy Najimy) and Sister Mary Robert (Wendy Makkena).
When Deloris gets in trouble for trying to sneak out of the convent to a bar, Sister Mary Superior (Maggie Smith) punishes her by assigning her to join the local choir. Deloris decides to improve the flailing choir and teach them how to sing. More people start attending church to watch their Motown-infused renditions of traditional church songs. This phenomenon consequently improves the neighborhood, drawing more attention to Deloris’ hiding spot. When Deloris is kidnapped by the criminals she had been trying to escape, the nuns come to her rescue. All the nuns return safely home and sing “I Will Follow Him” at a concert for the pope. Audiences fell in love with all the songs in “Sister Act,” making the movie soundtrack a hit. Certified gold by the RIAA, the upbeat album included all the catchy “Sister Act” songs including “My Guy (My God)” and “Hail Holy Queen.”
Scott Rudnick, who wrote the screenplay, imagined Bette Midler in the starring role. However, after Midler turned down the part, Goldberg became the “Sister Act” star. Her only condition for accepting the role was that her character is named Deloris. Goldberg had always wanted to play someone with that name.
As buzz builds around a “Sister Act” remake, Goldberg has shared that she is interested in directing the film.