Variety reports that Unique Features executives Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne have secured director Barry Levinson ("Wag the Dog," "Rain Man") to direct Larry Gelbart's screenplay, which is based on his Tony-winning 1990 book for City of Angels. The musical's Tony-winning lyricist, David Zippel, is also attached to the project.
Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman will provide additional musical material based on the late Cy Coleman's jazz score and serve as musical director for the film. PicturePlay Films will co-produce City of Angels.
"Barry brought it to us, and the story of a writer of classic film noir detective stories, with the same actor playing both the writer and detective ... is as great an idea for the screen as it was the for the stage," Shaye told Variety.
Shaye and Lynne also told the industry paper that previously reported stage adaptations of the films "Secondhand Lions" and the Will Ferrell comedy "Elf" are progressing toward their Main Stem debuts.
A November workshop of Elf, under the direction of Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone), will have a book by Tony winners Thomas Meehan (Hairspray, The Producers) and Bob Martin (Drowsy Chaperone) and a score by Wedding Singer collaborators Matt Sklar and Chad Beguelin. Elf is hoping for a 2010 holiday debut.
Meanwhile, a 2010 workshop of Secondhand Lions, with a book by Tony winner Rupert Holmes (Edwin Drood, Curtains) and a score by Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary, will be directed by Matt August. The musical about a young boy who spends a summer with his great uncles, is aiming for a 2011 premiere.