Alex Timbers Talks 'Rosaline' Film, 'Mozart in the Jungle' Series for Amazon

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Alex Timbers

The director of "Rocky" and "Here Lies Love" tells THR about his upcoming series set in the classical music world and "Romeo and Juliet" retelling starring Felicity Jones.

Alex Timbers might be one of the busiest directors working in theater today, with his musical production Rocky currently running on Broadway and his downtown disco bio-musical Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim kicking off its first commercial production at the Public Theater this past weekend.

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However, Timbers is also making the transition to the screen with film and television projects in the final stages of preproduction.

First up is Mozart in the Jungle, a television series Timbers co-wrote and co-created with Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola for Amazon. "We're going to film in New York in the fall," Timbers told The Hollywood Reporter at the opening night party for Here Lies Love on Thursday. "It's based on this memoir called Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music and it shows a little bit of the underbelly of the classical music world -- the politics and the more illicit side as well."

The series, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Malcolm McDowell and Bernadette Peters, marks Timbers' first time directing and writing for television. "It's been a great experience," Timbers added. "I initially met up with Jason and Roman, and because I was in the New York theater world, they felt like I'd be a match."

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Timbers is also working on Rosaline, a modern comic retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with Universal Pictures and producer Shawn Levy at 21 Laps Entertainment. Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the team behind (500) Days of Summer, The Spectacular Now and The Fault In Our Stars, wrote the screenplay from the novel When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle. Felicity Jones is attached to play the title character.

"That's going really well," Timbers said of the film project, to which he has been attached since October 2013. "We're in the final stages of casting."

Timbers is no stranger to adaptations of Shakespeare. His musical version, with composer Michael Friedman, of Love's Labour's Lost played the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park last summer, and he's also working on #hotfuss, a Shakespeare musical for Disney. Another project in Timbers' Hollywood hopper is Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go, an adaptation of Dale Basye's young-adult novel by David Iserson and Chris Weitz.

Timbers is a two-time Tony Award nominee, for his direction of Peter and the Starcatcher and his book for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He also directed The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway. He is repped by WME, Caliber Media and attorney Dave Feldman.