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Antoine Fuqua to Direct ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ Film Adaptation

Producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey backed all-Black version of Tennessee Williams play in 2008

“Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua is set to direct a film adaptation of the Tennessee Williams classic “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Fuqua is teaming with Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey on the project, after the two producers backed a version of the play in 2008 performed with an all-Black cast. That show was the first all-African American production on Broadway and had a history-making, sold-out, 19-week run. The play then moved to London’s West End, where it had a similarly successful run.

Fuqua will produce via his production company, Fuqua Films, along with Byrd and Jones-Harvey through Front Row Productions.

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about family, life, love, death and truth. It tells the story of a family in a plantation home in Mississippi, including the drama between plantation owner Big Daddy, his alcoholic son, Brick, and Brick’s wife, Maggie. Fuqua’s new film version will combine elements of the play with new storylines.

Debbie Allen directed the 2008 Broadway production that starred Terrence Howard in his Broadway debut alongside Tony Award winners Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” was also famously adapted as a film in the ’50s starring Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor.

“Bringing such a historic production to the screen is an honor I am thrilled to have alongside Stephen and Alia,” Fuqua said. “They have shown their commitment to the project with two successful stagings on Broadway and the West End and know what it takes to translate this iconic drama from theater to cinema.”

“We set out to produce groundbreaking, high caliber work on both Broadway and London’s West End with iconic plays, and now we hope to replicate this with ‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,’ as a film. We are thrilled to be able to bring this Tennessee Williams classic play to life once again in a new iteration with the acclaimed Antoine Fuqua at the helm,” the producers said.

Fuqua is next directing “Emancipation,” a drama for Apple starring Will Smith as a runaway slave who was famously photographed with a scarred back. He’s also directing a limited series starring Jamie Foxx as Mike Tyson.

Fuqua is represented by LBI Entertainment and Matt Johnson and Brian Lazarus at Ziffren Brittenham. Byrd and Jones-Harvey are represented by Darrell D Miller at Fox Rothschild, LLP.

Variety first reported the news.