"The Guys" — the film version of the play by Anne Nelson — which was picked up for distribution by Universal Pictures' division Focus Features earlier this year, will play an Academy Award-qualifying run in Los Angeles Dec. 13 prior to a wide theatrical release in either February or March of 2003 according to a Focus Features spokesperson.
The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 11, 2002 — to commemorate the one year anniversary of the events the play is based on. The movie features the stageplay's former cast members Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia as well as the director Jim Simpson. The Guys still runs at New York City's Flea Theatre and now at Los Angeles' The Actors' Gang.
The Guys, based on Nelson's real experiences, is a dialogue between a fire captain — who has lost most of his men in the Sept. 11 attack — and an editor who helps him write the eulogies as she struggles herself to come to terms with the event. Both find out, as quoted from the text, "We have no idea what wonders lie hidden in the people around us."
ContentFilm financed and produced the screen version of the play. Simpson, in a released statement, said "I’m pleased that ContentFilm and Open City Films have embraced this unique project. The Guys puts a human face on this catastrophe and its intimacy should transfer well to the screen." Nelson concurred saying "I’m deeply gratified that a film version of The Guys can come to life through this team."
The New York cast of The Guys has included Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Irwin, Anthony LaPaglia, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Swoosie Kurtz, Tom Wopat, Amy Irving, Carol Kane, Marlo Thomas, Stephen Lang, Terrence Mann, Polly Draper, Dan Lauria and Peggy Lipton. The Los Angeles production at The Actors' Gang has featured the company's artistic director Tim Robbins, Helen Hunt, Sarandon, Philip Baker Hall, Jeanne Tripplehorn, David Hyde Pierce and Glenne Headley.
— by Ernio Hernandez