"Precious" director Lee Daniels will direct the film, which will be produced by John Torres Martinez and Joe Lamy of Mankind Entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Daniels will work with Cruz on the screenplay.
Playwright Cruz told the industry paper, "I always saw it as a film. Even though I wrote is as a play, I just think it has endless possibilities as a film. The play itself is full of images and I want to open it up to the world film offers."
Cruz collected his first official Broadway credit on Nov. 16, 2003, when the poetical drama officially opened at the Royale Theatre. Anna in the Tropics premiered in Florida and visited Chicago and New Jersey (in separate stagings) before setting a foot on a Broadway stage.
The Broadway production came direct from Princeton's McCarter Theatre with the New Jersey cast intact. The show starred Jimmy Smits, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Priscilla Lopez, John Ortiz, Vanessa Aspillaga, Victor Argo and David Zayas. Emily Mann directed.
By close, the production played 15 previews and 113 performances.
Playwright Cruz set his play in a Cuban-American cigar factory in 1929 Florida. The factory employs "lectors" to entertain and educate the factory workers, and a new lector who reads aloud from Anna Karenina becomes "a catalyst in the lives of his avid listeners, for whom Tolstoy, the tropics, and the American dream prove a volatile combination," according to Broadway press notes.