The play, which is aiming for a Broadway bow sometime within the next year, will be directed by Richard Eyre. John N. Hart Jr. will be among the producers of the currently untitled work. It has just been announced that Baitz will make his Broadway playwriting debut with another work, Love and Mercy.
Baitz is basing the play on both Evans' 1994 memoir "The Kid Stays in the Picture" and his unpublished second memoir, "The Fat Lady Sang."
Director Eyre told the Times that "there are a number of actors who have the chops to [play Evans]. . . [Evans' story] has something of Don Quixote about it, Don Quixote and Casanova. It's very alluring as a project, the story is magnificent, and almost absurd at the same time."
Evans is a writer, actor and producer who appeared in the films "Lydia Bailey," "Man of a Thousand Faces," "The Sun Also Rises," "The Fiend Who Walked the West" and "The Best of Everything." His producing credits include "Chinatown," "Urban Cowboy," "The Cotton Club" and "The Saint," among others. The 79-year-old Evans, who was once head of Paramount and was also married seven times, suffered a stroke in 1998.
Baitz's plays include The Paris Letter, Ten Unknowns, Mizlansky/Zilinsky or Schmucks, A Fair Country, The Film Society, The Substance of Fire, The End of the Day and Three Hotels. He has also written the screenplays for "The Substance of Fire" and "People I Know" as well as for TV's "The West Wing" and "Alias."