"Hairspray" Director Shankman Saying Hello to "Birdie" Movie

News   "Hairspray" Director Shankman Saying Hello to "Birdie" Movie Adam Shankman, the choreographer and film director whose movies "Bedtime Stories" and "Hairspray" are box-office hits, is developing a new film version of "Bye Bye Birdie" for Columbia Pictures, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Adam Shankman
Adam Shankman

A movie remake of the popular 1960 Broadway musical (by librettist Michael Stewart, composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Lee Adams) has been gestating for several years, with some reports indicating that the Elvis-era setting might be updated to the hip-hop period. No official announcement has been made about a screenwriter or a possible update. (Given the success of the brightly colored 1960s-period "Hairspray" on film, the producer may now feel emboldened to stick to the original.) A rare original musical not based on source material, Bye Bye Birdie concerned an Elvis-like pop star named Conrad Birdie, whose manager-songwriter, Albert (originally played by Dick Van Dyke), conceives a publicity stunt that will allow a fan "one last kiss" before the superstar gets drafted into he Army. The score includes the hit "Put On a Happy Face."

There were two movie versions of the show: One in 1963 starring Ann-Margret as the fan and Van Dyke as Albert, and a 1995 TV movie that starred Jason Alexander as Albert, Marc Kudisch as Birdie and Vanessa Williams as Albert's long-suffering girlfriend, Rose (a role created by Chita Rivera). The latter had additional songs by Strouse and Adams, including "Let's Settle Down," which won the writers an Emmy Award.

Shankman's producing partners on "Birdie" will reportedly be Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, of Red Wagon, and Jennifer Gibgot, Shankman's partner in Offspring Entertainment.

Shankman's other future directorial projects include "Bob: The Musical" for Disney and "The 8th Voyage of Sinbad" for Columbia.