Report: A Rodgers and Hart Biopic Is Coming | Playbill

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Film & TV News Report: A Rodgers and Hart Biopic Is Coming

Boyhood and Merrily We Roll Along director Richard Linklater is working on a film telling the story of how one of Broadway's most iconic collaborations went kaput.

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart Library of Congress

According to a report in Deadline, director Richard Linklater (BoyhoodMerrily We Roll Along) is working on a biopic centered on the Broadway writing team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Before Rodgers and Hammerstein, Rodgers and Hart was one of Broadway's most influential and prolific songwriting duos. Together they wrote more than 500 songs, along with 28 stage musicals. The vast majority of those musicals are too dated to be performed much today (with the notable exception of Pal Joey), but their song catalogue was and is legendary. That illustrious list includes "My Funny Valentine," "Falling in Love With Love," "Ten Cents a Dance," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," and "Blue Moon."

That last song, made famous by Elvis Presley, will reportedly become this biopic's title, with the story focusing on the end of their collaboration. By the early 1940s, Hart's alcoholism had strained the relationship with the far more studious Rodgers. When the opportunity arose to adapt Lynn RiggsGreen Grow the Lilacs with Oscar Hammerstein II, Rodgers accepted. The resulting musical, Oklahoma!, would be Rodgers' greatest success yet, and the start of an even more revolutionary—and lucrative—writing collaboration. Hart, on the other hand, would die just eight months after Oklahoma! premiered, and just days after his final Rodgers collaboration (a heavily revised new production of their 1927 musical A Connecticut Yankee) opened on Broadway.

Deadline reports that the project will feature a script by Robert Kaplow (Me and Orson Welles), and that Linklater is producing alongside John Sloss.

Linklater is currently filming a screen version of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Merrily We Roll Along. Taking a cue from his earlier film Boyhood, which was filmed over the course of a decade, Merrily is being filmed as the cast—including Ben Platt, Paul Mescal, and Beanie Feldstein—reach the ages of their characters in each scene. Two of those scenes have reportedly been filmed, with seven left to capture. The resulting movie, like the stage musical on which it's based, will present its scenes in reverse chronological order.

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