Stephen Trask Developing 'King of Comedy' as Broadway Musical

King of Comedy Still - H 2015
Courtesy Everett Collection

King of Comedy Still - H 2015

'Rock of Ages' book writer Chris D'Arienzo has also signed on to adapt Martin Scorsese's 1982 film into a stage show for New Regency.

"The more scribbled the name, the bigger the fame," onscreen or onstage.

The King of Comedy — the 1982 dark comedy directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis — is being adapted into a stage musical for New Regency, it was announced.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch composer and lyricist Stephen Trask and Rock of Ages book writer Chris D’Arienzo have signed on for the new version of the cult classic. New Regency's Bill Weiner is overseeing the project and leading the company's stage efforts.

The King of Comedy follows Rupert Pupkin, a desperate comedian who stalks and kidnaps a talk show host in an effort to land the TV appearance that will make his dreams come true. Released by 20th Century Fox, the film — which opened the Cannes Film Festival in 1983 — explores themes of media influence and the cult of celebrity.

"I saw King of Comedy in film class at Wesleyan and I still can’t get it out of my head," said Trask. “To get asked by New Regency, one of the most consequential film companies ever, to make a musical with my friend Chris D’Arienzo, out of what might be the greatest movie ever, is one of the most exciting opportunities to come my way. And, we didn’t have to kidnap anybody to make it happen.”

D’Arienzo added, “I am beyond thrilled to work with Stephen and New Regency to bring Rupert Pupkin’s toxic fantasy world to the stage. The film is an absolute classic, and it is an honor to explore this timely and twisted view of ‘fame obsession’ with such talented and thoughtful collaborators.”

Trask and D’Arienzo are represented by CAA and Trask is managed by Steven Saporito.