Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, the film studio’s live stage play division, has commissioned Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis (Between Riverside And Crazy, The Motherf**ker With The Hat) to adapt Sidney Lumet’s 1975 film starring Al Pacino and John Cazale as friends and famously inept bank robbers seeking money to finance a sex-change operation. Frank Pierson, who died in 2012, wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay, based on a true story. Guirgis is an executive producer of Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Netflix series The Get Down.
Under division chief Mark Kaufman (and producing partner Raymond Wu, who recently departed to start his own production company), Warners has been actively exploiting its film catalog for Broadway product. William Goldman‘s adaptation of his own screenplay for Stephen King’s Misery gave Bruce Willis his Street debut this season with co-star Laurie Metcalf. WBTV also is a co-producer of Tony-winning best play The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, an import from the UK’s National Theatre. Roald Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, another London import co-produced by the company, is slated to make its Broadway bow in 2017. WBTV has previously been represented on Broadway with The Bridges Of Madison County and Elf.
Guirgis has emerged as one of today’s most prolific and sought-after writers: In 2011, his urban comedy The Motherf**ker With The Hat starred Chris Rock and Bobby Cannavale on Broadway. As a playwright he has long been affiliated with the LAByrinth Theater Company whose co-founder, Philip Seymour Hoffman, staged his work including The Little Flower Of East Orange, which starred Michael Shannon and Ellen Burstyn. As an actor, Guirgis has appeared in theater, film and television, including roles in Kenneth Lonergan’s film Margaret, Todd Solondz’s Palindromes and Brett C Leonard’s Jailbait.