Directors Bryan Singer and Gus Van Sant are both trying to be first in production with a film about Harvey Milk, the San Francisco supervisor and first openly gay elected official in the U.S., who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by Supervisor Daniel White.
Variety says that after 15 years in development, The Mayor of Castro Street, the movie based on the book by Randy Shilts, is moving toward the starting gate. Warner Independent Productions, which brought in Singer two years ago, is near a deal with Participant Productions to co-finance and with Chris McQuarrie to write the final draft.
Now, Van Sant has attached himself to an untitled Milk script by Dustin Lance Black, writer of several episodes of the HBO drama “Big Love.” The writer’s agents at Endeavor will shop the script early next week.
McQuarrie, who first teamed with Singer on The Usual Suspects, is working with the director on an untitled WWII thriller at United Artists that McQuarrie wrote with Nathan Alexander. Tom Cruise is toplining an ensemble drama about German generals who hatch a scheme to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
Van Sant was once set to direct “Castro Street” and even wrote a draft of the script years ago for Warners.
Craig Zadan, who is producing “The Mayor of Castro Street” with Neil Meron, liked their chances to get into production quickly. This despite Singer’s commitment to the Cruise movie, Valkyrie, which has a July 8 start date, and a Superman Returns sequel which Warner Bros. hopes to have ready for release in 2009.