The “Training Day” and “Magnificent Seven” director will join forces with producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, who backed a 2008 revival of the show that made history with a sold-out 19-week run as the first all-African American production on Broadway. It was also the highest-grossing play during that season.
The show was directed by Debbie Allen and featured Terrence Howard, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones. The original play centers on Brick, a former athlete turned alcoholic, his sexually frustrated wife Maggie and Big Daddy, the ailing and wealthy family patriarch.
The filmmakers say the movie “will combine elements of the play with new storylines and weave them together to bring the production to the big screen.” Fuqua will produce via his production company, Fuqua Films, and Byrd and Jones-Harvey will produce through their Front Row Productions.
Following the Broadway run, Byrd and Jones-Harvey transferred the show to London’s West End, where it won the Laurence Olivier award for best revival of a play. Adrian Lester played Brick and Sanaa Lathan played Maggie in that production.
“Bringing such a historic production to the screen is an honor I am thrilled to have alongside Stephen and Alia,” said Fuqua in a statement. “They have shown their commitment to the project with two successful stagings on Broadway and the West End and know what it takes to translate this iconic drama from theatre to cinema.”
“We set out to produce groundbreaking, high caliber work on both Broadway and London’s West End with iconic plays, and now we hope to replicate this with ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ as a film,” said Byrd and Jones-Harvey in a statement. ”We are thrilled to be able to bring this Tennessee Williams classic play to life once again in a new iteration with the acclaimed Antoine Fuqua at the helm.”
Fuqua’s credits also include the Denzel Washington hit “The Equalizer” and “Southpaw,” a boxing drama with Jake Gyllenhaal. Most recently, he directed and executive produced the documentary ”What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali.” Fuqua’s next film is Paramount’s ”Infinite,” a sci-fi thriller starring Mark Wahlberg, and he is preparing to shoot “Emancipation” with Will Smith.
Byrd and Jones-Harvey’s stage credits include “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Trip to Bountiful,” “Smokey Joes Café,” “American Son” and the current Broadway hit “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations.” They will produce “Get Up, Stand Up,” a musical about Bob Marley, on London’s West End this fall, and “MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical” on Broadway in January 2022. The two are also developing the Oscar-winning Brazilian film “Black Orpheus” into a Broadway production.
Fuqua is represented by LBI Entertainment and Matt Johnson and Brian Lazarus at Ziffren Brittenham. Byrd and Jones-Harvey are repped by Darrell D Miller at Fox Rothschild, LLP.