The Brooksfilms production — released by Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures and produced by Mel Brooks and Jonathan Sanger — will open on 1,200 screens on Dec. 25. The movie musical, which reunites original stage stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, will expand further on Friday, Jan. 13, 2006.
"The Producers," based on the Tony-winning musical of the same name, stars Lane as Max Bialystock and Broderick as Leo Bloom with Gary Beach as Roger De Bris, Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia, Uma Thurman as Ulla and Will Ferrell as Franz Liebkind. The motion picture also boasts cameo appearances by such theatre stars as Brent Barrett, Andrea Martin, Debra Monk, Jai Rodriguez, Richard Kind, Jonathan Freeman, Ruth Williamson, Michael McKean, Marilyn Sokol, Peter Bartlett and Ronn Carroll.
About the making of the film, director Stroman recently told Playbill.com columnist Michael Buckley, "The hours were difficult, but I loved [making the movie], and would do it again. I feel honored to bring a theatre piece to film. I've been asked before, but I never wanted to leave the theatre for that long. This was very special. . . . We shot it all in New York. We didn't go to Toronto or Yugoslavia and pretend that we were in New York. I was able to hire 300 New York dancers, 72 New York musicians, a New York crew and Broadway folk."
"The Producers" recently garnered four Golden Globe nominations, including one for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy. The picture will vie for that prize in a field that also includes "Mrs. Henderson Presents," "Pride & Prejudice," "The Squid and the Whale" and "Walk the Line." The Stroman directed film also scored nods for actors Lane (Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy) and Ferrell (Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture). And, a new song penned for the film by composer-lyricist Brooks — "There's Nothing Like a Show on Broadway" — was nominated for Best Original Song-Motion Picture.
"The Producers" soundtrack is available on the Sony Classical label. The original 1968 "The Producers" film about a conniving producer starred Zero Mostel as producer Bialystock and Gene Wilder as Bloom. Others in the cast included Kenneth Mars as Franz Liebkind, Renée Taylor as Eva Braun, Christopher Hewett as Roger De Bris, Lee Meredith as Ulla and Andréas Voutsinas as Carmen Giya. Mel Brooks won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for "The Producers," and Gene Wilder was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The Producers, winner of 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, continues to play at Broadway's St. James Theatre.