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The countercultural war cry of “Attica! Attica! Remember Attica!” will be heard again.
Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures announced Thursday that a stage adaptation of Sidney Lumet’s classic streetwise 1975 thriller about a botched bank holdup, Dog Day Afternoon, is in development for Broadway.
Stephen Adly Guirgis, who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Between Riverside and Crazy, is adapting Frank Pierson’s Oscar-winning screenplay, which was based on true events outlined in a 1972 Life magazine article by P.F. Kluge and Thomas Moore.
In a signature role that ranks alongside Michael Corleone and Frank Serpico, Al Pacino starred in the film as Sonny Wortzik, who teams with two friends to rob the First Brooklyn Savings Bank in order to pay for the sex reassignment surgery of his preoperative transgender wife. But what should have been a quick in-and-out stickup turns into a media circus that generates 12 hours of nail-biting hostage negotiations, playing out on live TV.
The movie also starred John Cazale, James Broderick, Chris Sarandon, Charles Durning and Lance Henriksen.
No timeline, director or cast have been announced for the stage project, which follows Warners’ current Broadway production of Misery, starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf, and 2015 Tony winner The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, on which the studio division is a co-producer. Those plays, respectively, were the No. 1 and 2 top-grossing nonmusical productions on Broadway during the recent record-breaking New Year’s week.
Warner Bros Theatre Ventures is also behind the London musical hit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is being retooled for a 2017 Broadway bow following the exit of original director Sam Mendes. The company also has a stake in the musicals based on The Bridges of Madison County and Elf.
Other projects in development through the studio’s theatrical division include adaptations of the Kevin Kline White House comedy Dave, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and the Zac Efron comedy 17 Again.
Guirgis has a long history of writing plays set in gritty New York environments. In addition to Between Riverside and Crazy, his credits include Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and The Motherf—er With the Hat. The latter play marked his Broadway debut with a 2011 production that starred Bobby Cannavale and Chris Rock.
In addition to Dog Day Afternoon, Guirgis’ current projects include a collaboration with director Baz Luhrmann on the upcoming Netflix series The Get Down, which will focus on the birth of hip-hop in the 1970s.
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