The former Warner Bros. project is being written and directed by Chris Columbus, drawing on the Pulitzer Prize winning book, music and lyrics of the late Jonathan Larson. The 1996 musical continues at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City.
Variety reported Stephen Chbosky will share script credit with Columbus, and that production will commence in spring 2005 for a late 2005 release. No casting has been announced.
"Rent," the movie, will be produced by Tribeca's Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro, Columbus and his 1492 partner Michael Barnathan, and Mark Radcliffe, the trade reported.
The musical updates Puccini's La Boheme to the East Village of the late 1990s, with artists and lovers struggling to connect in a world that is chaotic, shallow and tinged with disease. In the event that Rent is still playing when the picture is released, it could mean a big box office boost for the live show. The Oscar wins for the movie "Chicago" have stimulated box office for the Broadway and touring productions of that hit revival.
Columbus is known for directing the first two "Harry Potter" pictures as well as the hits "Home Alone" and "Mrs. Doubtfire."