Tracy Letts' 'Killer Joe' Headed to Broadway

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Tracy Letts

The 1993 American Gothic crime thriller will reunite the playwright with Tony Award-winning director Pam MacKinnon.

NEW YORK -- The grisly black comedy that put playwright Tracy Letts on the map, Killer Joe, will be produced on Broadway in 2014 under the direction of recent Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon.

Since bursting onto the playwriting scene with the visceral, darkly humorous work about a Texas drug dealer who enlists the help of his crooked family and a cop-turned-contract killer to get out of a lethal situation, Letts has established himself as a major force in contemporary American drama, winning both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for his 2007 work, August: Osage County.

Letts wrote the screenplay for John Wells' film version of that corrosive family drama, which stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ewan McGregor. The Weinstein Co. awards-season contender is slated for a gala premiere at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.

An actor in addition to his writing projects, Letts teamed memorably on Broadway last season with MacKinnon on a searing revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? That production won both directing honors for MacKinnon and a lead actor Tony for Letts in the role of embittered academic George.

"Killer Joe provides a lot of red meat for the theater," said Letts. "Pam MacKinnon is the perfect director to shepherd a group of actors who share a certain bloodlust."

Casting and exact dates for the Broadway run have not been announced. The play will be produced by Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel, whose association with Letts includes the Broadway presentations of his plays August: Osage County and Superior Donuts, as well as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Killer Joe was previously produced off-Broadway in 1998 with a cast that included Scott Glenn, Sarah Paulson, Amanda Plummer, Michael Shannon and Marc A. Nelson. A 2011 screen version directed by William Friedkin and adapted by Letts starred Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church and Gina Gershon.