"The Producers"…And All That Jazz

With “Chicago” scooping the Oscars at this year’s prize ceremony, it’s no surprise to hear Hollywood is rushing to get anything else that’s made a mint at the theatre, a film treatment. Next cab off the rank will be “The Producers”, with stage-stars Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane reprising the roles from the show. “The Producers” actually started as a film, you may recall, with Mel Brooks behind the lens.

Everyone will be back, says Variety “That means Brooks, his co-writer Thomas Meehan and director Susan Stroman. And the original co-stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. No deals have as yet been made, but she enthused, "We want to make it a film event the way he made it a Broadway event." She discussed "opening it up" as most films do with a legit show. However, some of the theatricality of the play can’t transpose — such as the opening of the second act when partners Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom find their battered office transformed into gleaming white by their new secretary Ulla, who admits she did it "in the intermission" to a giant laugh. Stacey met Mel for the first time at the Grill for lunch. She was immediately won over by his relationship with everyone in the room–including the waiters. "He’s an original," she admitted. Mel explained to me how "The Producers’" original film rights evolved to Universal: from Embassy to Dino De Laurenttis to Jerry Weintraub to EMI, to Vivendi and Canal Plus — thus Universal. With the L.A. company at work until January, he adds three-month stands in Boston and Chicago plus a touring national company. And, of course, there’s still New York. "I’m enjoying a wonderful third act of my life," Brooks admits. As for the next B’way musicalized outing, he and Meehan still have not yet decided between "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles"”