In May of 1998, rumors were flying that a revival of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, directed by Joe Mantello, was being prepared for Broadway sometime in spring 1999. At the time, those rumors were confirmed by producer David Stone.
However, reached (Oct. 30) producer Stone told PBOL he had no additional information to add since his comments five months ago. Although both the book and film were highly popular -- the film, in fact, garnered Jack Nicholson his first Oscar -- the play would need a star to bring in audiences for a Broadway revival. In May, Stone confirmed the play will likely feature two stars (as McMurphy and Nurse Ratched), mentioning Steppenwolf founder Gary Sinese for the lead, "but we're in preliminary talks. It's really too early to say anything about casting."
The producer did say Joe Mantello (Love! Valour! Compassion!; Mizlansky/Zilinksy; What's Wrong With This Picture?) has been tapped to direct the revival, which would work from the 1971 Off-Broadway script, as opposed to the less successful, original 1963 Broadway version. Wasserman (book for Man of La Mancha) may also make further changes to update the piece, but nothing seismic.
The 1962 book by Ken Kesey used a modern psychiatric ward as a metaphor for oppressive American society, which crushes individuality.
When asked in May why it was time to revive Cuckoo's Nest, Stone said, "It's one of my favorite books, and much as I love the movie, there's more to the story than in the film. It's a great clash of titans, these two characters. It'd be wonderful to see two amazing actors tackle these roles". Kirk Douglas starred in the original Broadway mounting; his son, Michael Douglas, produced the 1975 Milos Forman film which won the Oscar as Best Picture. In between, Wasserman got the stage rights back from Douglas in order to revise the show for Off-Broadway. William Devane starred in that long-running remounting, which later featured a young Jane Curtin as Nurse Ratched.