Hamilton Director Thomas Kail to Helm Fiddler on the Roof Adaptation
Deadline is reporting that Hamilton and In the Heights director and Tony Award winner Thomas Kail will helm MGM’s adaptation of the iconic stage musical Fiddler on the Roof that opened on Broadway in 1964 and won nine Tony Awards. Emmy nominee Steven Levenson (Fosse/Verdon) will write the script. Kail will produce the movie adaptation along with Dan Jinks and Aaron Harnick.
“MGM’s nearly centuries-long legacy of great film musicals continues with the great Tommy Kail’s new feature adaptation of one of Broadway’s most enduring classics. Along with the formidable team of Dan, Aaron, and Steven, we are thrilled they have come aboard to steward one of the great musicals to the big screen,” said MGM Film Group Chairman Michael De Luca.
Added Kail, “It has been a life-long dream of mine to direct Fiddler, though I always imagined I would do it on stage. I am over-joyed to have the opportunity to make a new film version of my favorite show with Mike DeLuca at MGM, where so many transcendent musical movies have been made. I’m proud to partner with Dan Jinks, Aaron Harnick and my great pal, Steven Levenson, to honor this work that has profoundly inspired me and millions of others.”
The 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof features music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein. The original was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family’s lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love – each one’s choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of their Jewish faith and heritage – and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.
The musical won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score of a Musical, Best Director, and Best Choreographer. A 1971 film adaptation was released by United Artist, directed by Norman Jewison and starring Topol. The film won three Oscars in 1972 out of eight nominations.
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