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May 2008


Description: Broadway Show 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' To Be Made Into Film

Source: Variety

May 16, 2008

With the success on Broadway and with the film version on televison, 'A Raisin in the Sun', which was just released on DVD, isn't the only the revival that will have that distinction. Producer Stephen Byrd hopes to have to reap the same rewards with his current production of 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'.

Variety states that Byrd is planning to make a film version of 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' starring the all-black cast of his current Broadway revival, which has recouped its $2.1 million capitalization cost.
Byrd said he had secured the rights to a new film version of 'Cat' from the estate of scribe Tennessee Williams and intends to begin lensing in 2009, subject to the availability of thesps Terrence Howard, Anika Noni Rose, James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad.
He added that he also has the rights to Williams’ play “A Streetcar Named Desire” for a potential multiracial pic adaptation.

Legit production of 'Cat' was shut out of the Tony noms this week, but investors can laugh all the way to the bank. Having paid back its initial investment, the show ends its extended limited run on June 22, allowing for more than a month of profit.

Byrd also said he is organizing a simulcast of a live performance of 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,' to be shown in Regal Cinemas nationwide.

Since previews began Feb. 12, sales for “Cat” have been unusually strong for a straight play thanks in large part to the star power of its cast. Grosses dipped when Howard departed temporarily to promote the pic 'Iron Man,' but after his May 6 return, weekly receipts last week bumped up $175,000 to $682,690.

'Cat' is the latest Rialto production to tap the African-American demo, which turned out for recent shows including 'The Color Purple,' 'A Raisin in the Sun' and the Denzel Washington starrer 'Julius Caesar.' Byrd estimated that as much as 70% of the revival’s auds are black.

'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' centers on a tempestuous family gathering on the birthday of a Southern patriarch. Williams’ 1955 play was made into a 1958 film that starred Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman.

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