Producer David Brown, who has successfully brought the lives of Truman Capote (Tru) and Samuel L. Goldwyn (Mr. Goldwyn with Alan King) to the stage, has turned his attention to film director Billy Wilder. Brown is currently developing a new Broadway-bound play based on Charlotte Chandler's upcoming Wilder biography "Nobody's Perfect."
Wilder, who passed away on March 27, is universally recognized as a genius filmmaker for both his directorial and screenwriting work. He directed and wrote the screenplays for "Double Indeminity," "The Lost Weekend," "Sabrina," "Seven Year Itch," "Witness for the Prosecution," "The Apartment,""Some Like It Hot" and "Sunset Boulevard," the latter three of which were made into musicals. Wilder retired with a slew of Oscars in 1981.
Before achieving greatness, however, Wilder lived and worked in both Vienna and Berlin in the newspaper and movie businesses. When Hitler rose to power, Wilder, fearing repercussions from his Jewish heritage, left Germany for Paris, then the United States. Although at first he spoke no English, thanks to his connections (including actor Peter Lorre, which whom he roomed), Wilder was able to break into American films. In 1938, he joined with producer Charles Brackett and the rest is movie history.
Chandler will co-produce and write the script, based on the Simon & Schuster release, expected in October. A showbiz biographer, she wrote the books "Hello, I Must Be Going: Groucho and His Friends" and "I, Fellini," which included a foreward by Wilder.
There is no casting yet, but Nobody's Perfect will be a multi-character play, unlike Tru. John Tillinger will direct as he did on the currently running Broadway bio-play, Say Goodnight, Gracie. — By Christine Ehren