Aaron Sorkin, who created NBC’s Emmy-winning The West Wing, is returning to the network with a live presentation of his Braodway play A Few Good Men, which has been slated to air in early 2017. The play, Sorkin’s first professional effort, premiered on Broadway in 1989, and three years later Sorkin adapted it as a feature film directed by Rob Reiner that went on to land a Best Picture Oscar nomination. It starred Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Bacon and Demi Moore.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, behind the network’s previous live musical productions of The Sound Of Music, Peter Pan Live! and The Wiz Live!, will produce this one too. A specific air date has not been set.
Set in 1986 and taking place in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, A Few Good Men centers on military lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee, who is asked to defend three Marines on trial for murder. Tom Hulce was nominated for a Tony for his portrayal of Kaffee on Broadway, and Cruise played him in the movie.
NBC says its production will be based on the stage version, Sorkin will write the teleplay adaptation and also executive produce along with Zadan and Meron.
“I’ve been incredibly impressed watching NBC resurrect live musical theater for television and I’m eager to team up with Craig and Neil to help bring live drama back as well,” Sorkin said in today’s announcement from NBC.
As far back as November 2014 NBC had been talking to Sorkin about mounting a live production of the play. Now the deal is done and Universal Television will produce in association with Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Television. (Sony TV holds rights from the original feature film deal on the play, which resulted in the 1992 Columbia/TriStar movie.)
“I am thrilled that Aaron Sorkin is coming back to NBC to adapt and produce a live broadcast of his electrifying play A Few Good Men, which seems as timely as ever today,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt today. “Aaron is one of the most acclaimed theater, television and film authors of our time, and I am pleased that the live event business that we pioneered with musicals is now expanding into other genres and attracting artists of his caliber. I look forward to his collaboration with our ‘A-team’ producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, to bring another exciting piece of live drama to a broad audience.”