CITY OF ANGELS Is Headed For The Big Screen, New Musical Adaptations Moving To The Stage

CITY OF ANGELS Is Headed For The Big Screen, New Musical Adaptations Moving To The Stage

A film adaptation of Cy Coleman's CITY OF ANGELS is headed to the screen, to be helmed by Director Barry Levinson ("Wag the Dog", "Good Morning, Vietnam"). The picture is one of many new projects to be produced by new company Unique Features, headed by former New Line Films principals Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Variety reported today.

Other projects underway include Broadway-bound musical adaptations of the films "Elf" and "Secondhand Lions", as well as new animated film "High in the Clouds", which will feature a score by Paul McCartney.

CITY OF ANGELS, the late Cy Coleman's 1989 musical which took home 6 Tony Awards, will be adapted for the screen by original bookwriter Larry Gelbart. Tony and Emmy Award winner Marc Shaiman, whose adaptation of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN opens this summer in Seattle, will music direct the film, adapting Coleman's legendary theatre score for the silver screen. Original lyricist David Zippel is also attached to the film. Unique Pictures will co-produce the film with PicturePlay Films.

"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.

The trade magazine reports that "Elf," a musical adaptation of the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell, will be workshopped in November, and hopes to have a holiday 2010 opening. The musical features a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, with music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Casey Nicholaw is attached as Director of the project.

"Secondhand Lions", released in 2003 and starred Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Haley Joel Osment and Kyra Sedgwick, is looking at a 2011 stage premiere, and will be workshopped sometime in 2010. The adaptation features a book by Rupert Holmes, and a score by Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary. Matt August is attached as Director.

Nearly one year after forming Unique Features with a three-year first-look deal at Warner Bros., Bob Shaye and longtime partner Michael Lynne have assembled a formidable slate of films.

Shaye and Lynne may no longer be the lions of New Line, but the pair say they are warming to the transformation from moguls to producers.

Unique Pictures' first animated feature, "High in the Clouds," is an adaptation of a children's book written by Paul McCartney, Geoff Dunbar and Philip Ardagh. The film, about a squirrel's quest to find an animal sanctuary, will be adapted for the screen by Caroline Thompson, and will be helmed by Rob Minkoff.

"Paul said he would commit to a score of original songs as part of it," Lynne said. "Bob and I had never focused on animation in our career, but that got our attention."

To read the complete Variety article, click here.

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