Thomas Kail, who won a Tony for his direction of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Hamilton, will direct a new feature film version of the classic 1964 Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof for MGM, according to Deadline.
Kail, who developed and produced the FX series Fosse/Verdon with Steven Levenson, will reunite with the Tony-winning Dear Evan Hansen librettist on Fiddler. Levenson will pen the screenplay based on the original musical that features music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and a book by Joseph Stein.
Kail will also produce the film with Dan Jinks and Aaron Harnick.
The original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof had the first musical-theatre run to surpass 3,000 performances. The show won nine 1965 Tony Awards, including those for Best Musical and Zero Mostel, who originated the part of the famed milkman Tevye. The most recent Broadway revival featured six-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein in that role; other Broadway Tevyes have included Herschel Bernardi, Topol, Alfred Molina, and Harvey Fierstein. The classic score features "To Life," "If I Were a Rich Man," "Sunrise, Sunset," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," and "Tradition," among others.
Norman Jewison directed the original 1971 film version of Fiddler, featuring Topol as Tevye. The movie musical was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three.
Kail said in a statement, “It has been a life-long dream of mine to direct Fiddler, though I always imagined I would do it on stage. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to make a new film version of my favorite show with Mike DeLuca at MGM, where so many transcendent musical movies have been made. I’m proud to partner with Dan Jinks, Aaron Harnick, and my great pal, Steven Levenson, to honor this work that has profoundly inspired me and millions of others.”
Levenson added, “Fiddler on the Roof was the first piece of theatre I saw, at the age of five. Today, more than 50 years after it changed the face of Broadway forever, the story of Tevye and his beloved village of Anatevka feels more timely than ever. I am beyond grateful to Mike DeLuca and MGM, Dan Jinks, and Aaron Harnick for the opportunity to tell this unforgettable story of resilience and hope in the face of hopelessness, and I am delighted to be collaborating again with the inimitable Tommy Kail.”