Fosse, Verdon and the giant ape

Sam Rockwell with Frances McDormand in Three Billboards in Epping, Missouri, for which both received Oscars.

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BY BILLY SUTER

A MINI-SERIES on the life and times of celebrated choreographer Bob Fosse and his dancer wife Gwen Verdon is in the pipeline, with Lin-Manuel Miranda – the star and director of the award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton –scheduled to make his film directing debut with the project.

Playbill has reported that Fosse/Verdon will be commissioned by America’s FX TV network. It will be based on Sam Wasson’s biography Fosse, and will star Sam Rockwell, an Oscar-winner this year for his supporting role in Three Billboards in Epping, Missouri, and Michelle Williams, who played Hugh Jackman’s wife in The Greatest Showman.

Rockwell, Williams and Miranda are also down to executive produce the film, while Nicole Fosse, Verdon and Fosse’s daughter, will also be involved in the project, it has been reported.

It has also been reported that the film will be choreographed by Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler.

Playbill reports that Miranda is expected to compose music for the series, which will showcase the Fosse choreography that Verdon performed in such shows as Damn Yankees, New Girl in Town, Redhead, Sweet Charity and Chicago.

The site also points out that Dear Evan Hanson Tony winner Steven Levenson is scheduled to write the series pilot.

Miranda, by the way, will be appearing in cinemas later this year in Disney’s Mary Poppin Returns, starring Into the Woods star Emily Blunt as the magical nanny that was first immortalised on screen by Julie Andrews, who won an Oscar for her performance, which marked her movie debut.

In other news, word is out that a stage musical of King Kong is headed for Broadway from October 5, officially opening on November 8. It is a variation on a show which premiered in Australia

Playbill reports that the giant ape of the title will be portrayed by a one-ton, two-storey animatronic puppet created in Melbourne.

The report adds that the production will be directed by Drew McOnie and feature a book by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cuirsed Child), with music and  (lyrics by Marius de Vries (Bombay Dreams) and additional songs by Eddie Perfect (the Broadway-aimed Beetlejuice).


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