Tom Rothman‘s newly launched TriStar Productions is charging ahead with The Lady In The Van, adapted from playwright and writer Alan Bennett‘s memoir about the elderly vagrant who parked her van in his driveway one day and stayed there for the next 15 years. The project reunites Bennett with BAFTA- and Tony-winning director Nicholas Hytner, who helmed the critically acclaimed film adaptations of Bennett’s plays The Madness Of King George and The History Boys and directed the first staged adaptation of Lady In The Van in 1999. Downton Abbey‘s Maggie Smith originated the titular role in the critical and commercial West End hit and will also star in the film.
This is the third project to be greenlighted by the revamped TriStar under former Fox head Rothman, who worked with Hytner on The Crucible, The Madness Of King George, and The History Boys. His interest in the Lady adaptation was piqued while visiting Hytner for the 50th anniversary celebration of London’s National Theatre, which Hytner recently exited as Director. “I asked him what he was going to do for his first next act – he said he thinking of making this. I started pursuing it then,” Rothman told me. (more…)