The King of Comedy, which was directed by Queens native Martin Scorsese, is headed to Broadway. The 1982 film will be readapted as a musical by Stephen Trask, the composer and lyricist behind “Hedwig & The Angry Inch,” and Chris D’Arienzo, the author of “Rock of Ages.”
In a statement released by New Regency’s Bill Weiner, he said, “We are very excited to have Stephen and Chris on board to bring this classic film, with its quirky characters and contemporary themes surrounding fame and celebrity, to the Broadway stage.”
Weiner will be overseeing the project and leading the company’s stage efforts.
“I saw King Of Comedy in film class at Wesleyan and I still can’t get it out of my head,” Trask said. “To get asked by New Regency, one of the most consequential film companies ever, to make a musical with my friend Chris D’Arienzo, out of what might be the greatest movie ever, is one of the most exciting opportunities to come my way. And, we didn’t have to kidnap anybody to make it happen.”
D’Arienzo, who is as excited to work with his dear friend Trask, said ““I am beyond thrilled to work with Stephen and New Regency to bring Rupert Pupkin’s toxic fantasy world to the stage. The film is an absolute classic and it is an honor to explore this timely and twisted view of ‘fame obsession’ with such talented and thoughtful collaborators.”
The 1982 film follows an aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin, played by Robert De Niro, who wants to achieve success in the show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.
The film received positive reviews from a number of media outlets. A movie critic from the New York Times wrote, “It’s very funny, and it ends on a high note that was, for me, both a total surprise and completely satisfying. Yet it’s also bristly, sometimes manic to the edge of lunacy and, along the way, terrifying. It’s not an absolute joy by a long shot but, in the way of a film that uses all of its talents to their fullest, it’s exhilarating.”
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)