NEW YORK -- Colin Callender, the lead producer on Nora Ephron's scheduled returned to Broadway, Lucky Guy, has confirmed that plans to stage the bio-drama about columnist Mike McAlary remain in place despite the recent passing of the playwright.
"At a moment like this there is nothing to say but extend our deepest condolences to Nick, Max and Jacob, and all of Nora's family," said Callender, the former HBO Films president who is lead producer on the project.
"Her light and laughter will remain a testament to her incomparable talent, wit and heart," continued the statement. "We are honored to be part of her legacy and remain committed to seeing her magnificent work, Lucky Guy, shine on Broadway and can think of no more fitting tribute to her extraordinary writing."
Previously titled Stories About McAlary, the play follows the life and career of the tabloid reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for his series of New York Daily News columns on the brutalization of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima by police officers at a Brooklyn stationhouse.
Part of a vanished breed of pugnacious newspapermen from the pre-Internet age, McAlary worked at the Daily News for 12 years, starting on the police beat. During his prolific years covering the New York crime scene, he also wrote for Newsday and The New York Post, where Ephron had worked in the 1960s. McAlary died of colon cancer at 41, the same year he was awarded the Pulitzer.
Ephron's play was given a reading last year with Hugh Jackman in the title role. Ephron reportedly had done considerable work tightening the script since then. Reports in May confirmed that Tony-winner George C. Wolfe was attached to direct, with Tom Hanks in advanced negotiations to star.
The play was expected to go into rehearsals in January for a limited run opening early next year. Representatives for the production had no further comment regarding its timeline or the ongoing attachment of either the director or lead actor.
Ephron's previous experience on Broadway was with the short-lived 2002 play Imaginary Friends, about the rivalry between writers Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellman.
She had a hit Off Broadway with Love, Loss, and What I Wore, which opened in 2009 and ran for almost two and a half years. Co-written with her sister Delia Ephron and based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, the play is a compendium of monologues by women about their relationship experiences and the significance of particular items of clothing in their lives. It played in New York with a rotating cast that included such names as Tyne Daly, Rosie O'Donnell, Kristin Chenoweth, Fran Drescher, Janeane Garofalo, Jane Lynch, Yeardley Smith and Rita Wilson.
Love, Loss, and What I Wore launched a national tour early this year and has been produced in several countries around the world.