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: