“Memphis,” the Tony Award-winning musical, is heading to the big screen.
Belle Pictures and the Mark Gordon Company announced the news yesterday, and Mark Gordon and Molly Smith will produce the new movie, along with Alcon Entertainment, according to the New York Times. Alcon is a Warner Brothers-based production company.
No dates, casting or other information has yet been revealed.
Joe DiPietro will write the screenplay for the film. DiPietro wrote the book for the original movie and also co-wrote the lyrics with David Bryan.
“Memphis” is set in the 1950s, and follows the dangerous affair between a black singer and a white DJ that loves R&B music. The following is how producers describe the film:
“Memphis” takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50’s, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun fell in love with everything he shouldn’t: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer. “Memphis” is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever.
The musical won four Tony Awards in 2010: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book and Best Orchestrations. The production opened in October 2009 following previews that began the previous month. It eventually closed earlier this year following 1,166 performances and 30 previews.
The show is on a national tour of the U.S., and currently is playing in Denver, where it will remain through October 21. After that, the show is scheduled to remain on the road at least through May 19, 2013. Cities the touring production will visit include Sacramento; Costa Mesa, California; Boston; Omaha; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Fort Worth, Texas; San Antonio; Detroit and Miami.
A couple of years ago when the musical was still playing on Broadway, there were rumors that Justin Timberlake was interested in playing the Calhoun character.