'Chorus Line' gets docu gig

Stern, Del Deo in step as producers

James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo are bringing a documentary about the iconic Broadway musical "A Chorus Line" to the big screen.

The pair, whose previous documentaries include "The Year of the Yao" and "So Goes the Nation," will direct and produce "Every Little Step: The Journey of a Chorus Line." Stern's Endgame Entertainment will produce and finance the film, which chronicles the making of the current Broadway revival of the megahit musical.

The $2 million-range documentary will include footage of the show's late creator, Michael Bennett, along with new interviews with its composer, Marvin Hamlisch; co-choreographer Bob Avian; former New York Times theater critic Frank Rich; and the original 1975 production's breakout star, Donna McKechnie.

William Morris Independent is handling worldwide rights at the Festival de Cannes.

Production of "Every Little Step" began in summer 2005 and captured the auditions of 1,700 actors-singers-dancers. The film is now in postproduction.

Del Deo, who said the film will be cut down from more than 400 hours of footage, expects it to be completed in time for the Toronto International Film Festival — where his two earlier docus debuted — or the Sundance Film Festival.

Footage continued through the play's Broadway premiere and into its current Tony-nominated run. "Every Little Step" will cull behind-the-scenes footage of the audition, rehearsals and performances of the 1975 original and the 2006 revival, highlighting the similarities and differences between the two shows separated by a generation and revealing how life imitates art as performers from both productions undergo intense experiences similar to the roles in the play itself.

" 'A Chorus Line' was built in an organic way in the early '70s, where artists would sit around in a semicircle at midnight," Stern said. "There's now a whole new way of doing business on Broadway. Our film is also about the way entrepreneurs have been replaced by corporations in America."

Endgame's upcoming credits include "The Brothers Bloom" and the Todd Haynes-helmed Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There." The company has co-financed more than 25 films, including "Hotel Rwanda," "White Noise" and "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle."
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