Not a day goes by...when another Sondheim project doesn't hit the rumor mill. The latest, reported by Variety, is that Barry Levinson will develop and direct Sondheim's Assassins as the first musical for HBO. According to Variety, John Weidman will adapt his libretto, with Sondheim adding songs. Storyline Entertainment's Craig Zadan (author of Sondheim & Co. will produce with Neil Meron. Officials at HBO gave Variety no comment, while Paul McKibbins, who handles the rights to Sondheim's music, told Playbill On-Line he had no information on the deal. Asked about Variety's report that feature film projects of both Sweeney Todd and Into The Woods have fallen through, McKibbins said (Dec. 1) the projects were delayed but not necessarily dead in the water. "With all these projects, they go through various stages, which is business as usual for Hollywood. Things get started, then held up. One day both will be made, but they're temporarily delayed. They're huge budgets and require a great deal of care and focus. A lot of things are in various stages of conception, some legit, some not. Most will never see the light of day, yet they're pursued."
One absolute Sondheim fact is that Windham Hill has just released a CD with a Sondheim song on it. It's part of a collection of composers and songwriters playing their own tunes on the piano (no vocals). The CD, "Songs Without Words," features Sondheim playing his own "What Can You Lose?" from the film, Dick Tracy.