After two and a half years of negotiations were completed earlier this year, 20th Century Fox is at last moving forward with its remake of Guys And Dolls. The studio has set Danny Strong to write the script adaptation. Strong scripted the final two installments of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, after scripting Lee Daniels’ The Butler and adapting the Dan Brown Da Vinci Code sequel The Lost Symbol. This is the project based on Damon Runyon’s short stories that captured the rogue gangsters and gamblers of the 1920s and 1930s, which starred Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. Over the years, those interested included Bob Fosse, Baz Luhrmann, and Hugh Jackman, and I reported earlier this year that the studio was intrigued by the potential pairing of Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, though there is no shortage of actors who want this. First, of course, they need a script.
Fox just turned Samuel Goldwyn’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty into the Ben Stiller-directed remake with Goldwyn’s son, Sam Jr and grandson John Goldwyn among the producers. They will be the producers of Guys And Dolls.
In the musical, Nathan Detroit (Sinatra) has a town full of captive gamblers and wants to set up a floating crap game but needs money to do it. He bets his pal Sky Masterson (Brando) that Sky can’t get the wholesome Sarah Brown (Jean Simmons) — who runs a mission — to go with him to Havana. Frank Loesser wrote the music and lyrics, and Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows wrote the book. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical when it premiered in 1950, and won the 1951 Pulitzer for Drama, until the troubles Burrows was having with the House Un-American Activities Committee caused the Trustees of Columbia University to veto the selection. Guys And Dolls was first turned into the 1955 movie with classic Loesser songs included “Luck Be A Lady”, and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat”. Deals were completed with the various estates including Samuel Goldwyn, Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling.
The Contenders 2013: The Emotional Story Of How Laura Ziskin Fought To Get ‘The Butler’ Made Right Down To Her Dying Moments (Video)
One of the most poignant moments to come out of last Saturday’s Deadline event THE CONTENDERS was the story relayed by screenwriter Danny Strong and co-producer Pam Williams demonstrating the late Laura Ziskin‘s unbridled passion for getting Lee Daniels’ The Butler to the screen against all odds. As one of …
Notes from Monday night’s 23rd annual Pen Center USA Literary Awards Festival:
These awards, handed out at a ritzy gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel, celebrate the “freedom to write” and generally honor books. But there were a few showbiz awards thrown in including the Screenplay honor to Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty and its television counterpart to Danny Strong for HBO’s Game Change. Kickstarter even got in on the game, winning the Award Of Honor. But the big news was happening out in front of the hotel as the Motion Picture Editors Guild followed through on threats reported on Deadline to protest the Freedom To Write award to Sonia Nassery Cole, director/co-writer/producer of Afghanistan’s 2010 Foreign Language Oscar entry The Black Tulip. Several members were there with signs claiming she stiffed them back pay for their work on the film. The protest didn’t seem to dampen the mood inside the ballroom (there was no acknowledgement of the dispute) as she won a hearty ovation when Oscar-nominated actress Shoreh Aghdashloo introduced her to receive the evening’s final award. Cole’s speech focused heavily on the fight for freedom and peace in Afghanistan, pointing out her time there was “Hell on Earth”. Her anti-Taliban book and film enabled her to fight against them, she said.”Freedom is something I have been fighting for my entire life, and for me freedom is not free. We have to fight for it every single day of our lives, especially when you go to a country like Afghanistan,” she said, although the protesters outside would probably say making a movie is “not free” either.
Rachael Horovitz, the producer who originally set up the Michael Lewis book Moneyball at Columbia about overachieving Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane, has found a new sports figure to hang a picture on. Horovitz has teamed with Recount screenwriter Danny Strong to option the Wil Haygood biography Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson. Haygood will write the screenplay. He met Strong on The Butler, the Sony Pictures Entertainment film that has Lee Daniels attached to direct and Laura Ziskin to produce a film about Eugene Allen, who observed the civil rights struggle as an eight-term White House butler and was brought back after retirement to see Barack Obama inaugurated as the first African American president. Strong wrote that script, based on a series of articles that Haygood’ wrote for the Washington Post.