"Chicago," "Kinsey" Screenwriter Condon Set to Pen and Direct Dreamgirls Movie

News   "Chicago," "Kinsey" Screenwriter Condon Set to Pen and Direct Dreamgirls Movie "Chicago" screenwriter Bill Condon has his sights set on his next stage-to-screen project, a movie version of the musical Dreamgirls, according to Variety.

"I think that Dreamgirls is a great movie waiting to happen. There aren't that many [musicals] that can really work [on film]," Condon previously told Playbill On-Line (Dec. 2002) about the possibility, "but I think that Dreamgirls is the great obvious one."

The trade mag now reports that the scribe-director has finished a first draft of the script which will begin production late summer or early fall. The film will involve producer Laurence Mark and DreamWorks executive David Geffen — who co-produced the Broadway debut and controls screen rights to the work — as well as Warner Bros.

Featuring a book and lyrics by Tom Eyen with music composed by Henry Krieger, Dreamgirls follows the rise of a Motown-like singing trio of women through their 1960s-1970s fame. The late Michael Bennett (A Chorus Line, Follies) directed the Broadway debut in 1982 featuring Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Cleavant Derricks. Bennett (as choreographer), librettist Eyen and actors Harney, Derricks and Holliday all earned Tony Awards for their work though the show was beat out for Best Musical by Maury Yeston's Nine.

The show — which includes such memorable songs as "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," "One Night Only" and the title track — was revived on Broadway in 1987 starring Lillias White and performed in 2001 as an Actor's Fund benefit concert starring White with Heather Headley and Audra McDonald. A new Broadway staging is said to be in the works, though no official announcement has been made.

Condon earned an Academy Award for his screenplay of "Gods and Monsters" (which he also directed) and a nomination for his work on "Chicago." The scribe also directed his latest screenplay, "Kinsey," which reteamed The Crucible stars Liam Neeson and Laura Linney.

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