Tab & Tony biopic lines up Zachary Quinto & J.J. Abrams
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot are about to partner up on a very non-sci-fi project, namely a biopic about the secret romance between actors Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins. Titled Tab & Tony, the film will be shepherded to the screen thanks to powerhouse J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and his Star Trek star Zachary Quinto, who are both producing.
Perkins is, of course, best known for his iconic portrayal of Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s original 1960 Psycho as well as its three sequels. He also appeared in such classic films as Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Black Hole (1979) and Orson Welles’ The Trial (1962). From 1956 the closeted actor began a three-year relationship with actor Tab Hunter (Damn Yankees, Operation Bikini), a studio contract player and “all-American boy” pop singer.
Due to the taboo nature of such relationships at the time, the men had to hide their love from the public, often going on studio-arranged double dates with other actresses together. Their time as a couple ended acrimoniously when Hunter starred in a TV version of Fear Strikes Out, a biopic on baseball player Jimmy Piersall, only for Perkins to take the role in the Paramount theatrical movie version. Perkins would die of AIDS-related illness in 1992, while Hunter (now age 86) went on to appear in such cult films as Grease 2 and John Waters’ Polyester, and later came out publicly in his 2005 memoir “Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star,” which later became a 2015 documentary.
Tab & Tony will be based on Hunter’s book, with a screenplay by Doug Wright (Quills), who won a Pulitzer Prize for his Tony-winning play “I Am My Own Wife.” Abrams and Quinto will produce alongside Neil Koenigsberg and Hunter’s longtime partner Allan Glaser. A search for stars and a director is now underway.
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