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Kenny Leon Planning 'Fatal Attraction' Broadway Adaptation (With An All-Black Cast?)

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 9, 2012 12:49 PM
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Lately, announcements of new Broadway shows centered on stories about black people, are usually accompanied with the words "directed by Kenny Leon," who seems to have emerged as the go-to black director for black shows on Broadway.

Last year alone, he directed 2 Broadway plays - The Mountaintop and Stick Fly - both have since ended their runs.

And he's gradually working his way into more TV and film work, with the upcoming all-African American Steel Magnolias, and upcoming feature films he's been attached to in recent years, although none has been realized yet.

And he's got a stage version of the 1967 Sidney Poitier drama Guess Who's Coming To Dinner coming up, that will be housed in Atlanta, which he talks about in the 10-minute interview below with ATL's NBC affiliate. 

In that same video interview, Leon reveals some of his upcoming projects, which, as we already know, includes a Broadway musical based on the work of Tupac Shakur, but also another project I'm only hearing about for the first time: a Broadway adaptation of the classic 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction, which starred Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, directed by Adrian Lyne.

The much-discussed film (made for $14 million) grossed $156.6 million in the US alone (over $300 million worldwide), and was the second highest-grossing film of 1987 behind Three Men and a Baby. It also received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, and more.

It left a lasting impression, and is still a reference point for many films that have come after it today; so I suppose I can understand Leon's desire to turn it into a Broadway show. Leon himself seems to prefer high-profile projects, looking at his recent resume, so that should also make this decision less of a surprise; he also loves to work with *name* actors and stars, usually blending a mixture of Hollywood and theater talent into his works, so I'll look for a similar strategy with Fatal Attraction the stage play.

As for who might be cast in this - specifically, whether it'll be another all-black cast version of a popular work - Leon doesn't say. But I'm going to lean towards that, since it's a gimmick that seems to be all the rage these days. 

And given Leon's casting tendencies (mix of Hollywood and theater world *name* talents), who would you cast in this?

Watch the interview below:

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  • Adam Scott Thompson | July 10, 2012 5:38 PMReply

    I expected something like this to come from Tyler Perry Studios.

  • ALM | July 9, 2012 10:21 PMReply

    He's talented, but unfortunately I get an air of arrogance and entitlement from him. I was in the audience at a question and answer session last year in May when Kenny starred with Jasmine Guy in a play in which they were lovers and later were revealed to be related *ick*. They of course did not tell the audience this prior to the play, so I was less than enthused. After the play I asked Jasmine a question, and Kenny just had to whisper to her and smirk in the middle of my question.

    A couple of years ago I made a point to get my mom and grandmother (who are both out of town) to the performing arts center to see Kenny's version of "The Black Nativity". I already have my ticket to "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" starring Phylicia Rashad, and I wish Kenny the best. I just hope that he humbles himself. It's great to work with "bold faced names", but don't snub/mistreat the unknowns on the way to the top.

  • Akimbo | July 11, 2012 2:48 AM

    I actually don't think Kenny's a good director at all - his staging & blocking leave much to be desired - but I admire the fact that he consistently gets black artists on Broadway, in addition to his being open to new works. Fatal Attraction sounds pretty silly. Let's just make it a musical while we're at it; the Bunny Boiling number's gonna KILL.

  • Nadine | July 9, 2012 2:00 PMReply

    This dude is a sick individual. Fatal Attraction...really?

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