Exclusive: Lee Daniels Looking To Tackle Miss Saigon

Having directed Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, one of the most buzzed about movies on the festival circuit this year, the world is clearly Lee Daniels’ oyster even before the movie has received its theatrical release and he’s already thinking about what to tackle next with two specific projects in mind.

The one that’s likely to get the most immediate interest (if it happens) is Daniels’ thoughts about directing a movie based on the hit musical Miss Saigon. Written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, the musical set in Southeast Asia premiered in London’s West End before opening on Broadway where it would run for ten years and 4,062 performances, making it the tenth-longest running musical in Broadway history. (It also won three Tony awards.)

When ComingSoon.net talked Mr. Daniels earlier today, he didn’t go into too many details about the musical, a project that seemingly has come from out of left field, but he did give us the lowdown on the other project he’s eying to do, which is likely to be next on his plate.

That movie is currently called Selma, as in Alabama, the place where segregation in the South was at its worst, leading to a march that ended in violence, forcing a famous statement by President Lyndon B. Johnson that ultimately led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

“It’s a moment in time in Martin Luther King and LBJ’s (life) around the signing of the Civil Rights. It’s a snapshot of the march. It’s really Lyndon Johnson’s story. Martin Luther King is a part of it, but it’s really the arc of a man that starts out as a racist who is forced to look at himself in the mirror and then ultimately side with King. It’s really a journey of a white cat and how he sneers at tradition and against George Wallace, against everybody, says, ‘Uh-uh.’”

The latter has already been developed by producer Christian Colson and screenwriter Paul Webb (ironically one of the writers on Spielberg’s “Lincoln” biopic”) to the point where Daniels should be making the decision and getting to work on it soon, although one expects he’ll still have a lot of press and such to do if his new movie gets the awards attention some think it will.

Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire opens in select cities on November 6. Look for our fun interview with Daniels sometime in the coming weeks.

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