Douglas Lyons to Adapt Big River for the Big Screen | Playbill

Film & TV News Douglas Lyons to Adapt Big River for the Big Screen

The musical adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn opened at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in 1985.

Douglas Lyons Michaelah Reynolds

Per Variety, Douglas Lyons (Chicken and Biscuits) is set to adapt Roger Miller and William Hauptman's musical Big River for the screen.

Based on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Big River follows rebellious teenager Huck who takes off on a raft with runaway slave Jim, encountering conmen, an orphaned family, and bigotry along the way. The musical features music and lyrics by Miller and a book by Hauptman.

The film adaptation is being developed in partnership with Roger Miller's widow, Mary Miller; and Hauptman, as well as by the musical’s original producers Rocco Landesman, Emily Baer, and Jason Seagraves.

Big River opened on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre April 25, 1985. The production, staged by Des McAnuff with choreography by Janet Watson, played 22 previews and 1,005 performances before closing September 20, 1987. The musical earned 10 Tony Award nominations, winning seven including Best Musical. The musical returned to Broadway in an American Sign Language adaptation via Deaf West in 2003, directed by Jeff Calhoun and starring Tyrone Giordano, Michael McElroy, and Michael Arden.

Lyons earned a GLAAD nomination for Chicken and Biscuits, and has served as a writer on both seasons of Apple TV’s Emmy-winning series Fraggle Rock. His musicals include Polkadots for the Atlantic Theater Company, Beau for the Adirondack Theatre Festival, Breathe for Audible, The Moon and The Sea for Constellation Stage, and the world premiere of Five Points at the Theater Latté Da. His Broadway acting credits include The Book of MormonBeautiful: The Carole King Musical, and Parade.

Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Big River on Broadway

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