Searchlight Pictures is developing a drama based on a book about playwright Tennessee Williams called “Leading Men,” and the studio has set Matthew Lopez, the writer behind the Olivier Award-winning play “The Inheritance,” to write the screenplay.
Luca Guadagnino and “Nomadland” producer Peter Spears will produce “Leading Men,” though no director has been attached.
“Leading Men” is about the passionate and often tumultuous relationship between Tennessee Williams and his longtime partner Frank Merlo. The film is set amidst the glamorous literary circles of 1950s Italy and New York and explores the burden of fame and the complex negotiations of life in the shadows of greatness and ambition, all through the eyes of the muse who inspired one of America’s foremost playwrights.
“Leading Men” is based on a novel of historical fiction of the same name by Christopher Castellani, and the book was originally published in 2019.
Overseeing the project for Searchlight are SVP of production & acquisitions Katie Goodson-Thomas, VP of production Taylor Friedman and creative director Pete Spencer.
Lopez’s “The Inheritance” was directed on Broadway by Stephen Daldry and received 11 nominations at the Tony Awards, including for Lopez for Best Play.
Guadagnino is represented by Range Media Partners and WME. Lopez is represented by Grandview and Cry Baby Media. Spears is represented by UTA.
Variety first reported the news.