Columbia Pictures and Paramount Pictures have signed the stage and screen director the trade mag reports. Scott Rudin and Dan Klores are producing. The new film — which may confuse Johnny Cash fans or Broadway theatregoers, as Ring of Fire the musical is set to the songs of the recording artist — tells the story of Emile Griffith. The Virgin Islands native boxer, who fought in the United States in the 1960s, was the center of a controversy when, while fighting against Benny "The Kid" Paret live on NBC, he knocked his opponent unconscious and then struck him further as he was still propped up on the ropes. Paret — who allegedly called Griffith a derogatory Spanish term for a homosexual (though this was not reported by the 1960s' media) — never woke and died days later. The incident and his life was the focus of a 2005 documentary of the same title.
Guirgis' The Little Flower of East Orange will be presented as part of Manhattan Theatre Club's spring "6 @ 7" new work reading series. The scribe is known for his previous works The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, Jesus Hopped The 'A' Train and Our Lady of 121st Street.
Former Public producer Wolfe is known for his direction on stage (Caroline, or Change, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk) and on screen (HBO's "Lackawanna Blues").