Zadan and Meron's Storyline Entertainment was behind the movie smash, "Chicago," and the recent television ratings success, "The Music Man." Variety reported that the duo and Miramax have nearly secured all the needed permissions, including rights to Damon Runyon's "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown," the story that originally inspired the stage musical; the cooperation of Loesser's widow Jo Sullivan Loesser; and rights to the first movie version, held by Samuel Goldwyn, Jr.
Guys and Dolls, one of the landmarks in musical theatre history, is set in a rough and tumble Runyonesque Times Squares of nattily dressed gamblers and brassy show girls. Its key characters are the hapless Nathan Detriot, who runs a long-running, floating crap game; his professional fianceé (14 years and running), Hot Box singer Miss Adelaide; Sky Masterson, the smoothest gambler in the city; and Sarah Brown, a Salvation Army officer out to reform them all. When Detroit bets Masterson he can't take Brown on a date to Havana, the two opposites unexpectedly fall in love.
A 1955 film version starring Marlon Brando as Sky and Frank Sinatra as Detroit is widely regarded as a disappointment, with Sinatra's singing talents underused and Brando not up to his vocal chores.