Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Remake

Director Antoine Fuqua is best known for action movies and crime thrillers like Training Day, Shooter, Olympus Has Fallen, The Magnificent Seven, and The Equalizer. But soon he’ll be heading into prestige drama territory with a new adaptation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams. And we already have a good idea about how this take on the story will be different.

Variety has the news about Antoine Fuqua directing a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof remake. The play was famously turned into a film back in 1958 with Richard Brooks directing and Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor starring. The classic film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. However, this new version will likely follow in the footsteps of a recent 2008 stage revival of the play.

If you aren’t familiar with the play or the film, here’s the official synopsis:

After Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman) injures himself while drunkenly revisiting his high school sports-star days, he and his tempestuous wife, Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor), visit his family’s Mississippi plantation for the 65th birthday of his hot-tempered father, Big Daddy (Burl Ives). Cantankerous even with declining health, Big Daddy demands to know why Brick and Maggie haven’t yet given him a grandchild, unlike Brick’s brother Gooper (Jack Carson) and his fecund wife, Mae (Madeleine Sherwood).

In 2008, producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey brought Cat on a Hot Tin Roof back to stage as the first all-Black production on Broadway. It was sold out for 19 weeks straight and became the highest grossing play for that season. This new big screen version will likely use a predominantly Black cast to inject new life into the fresh take on the story, which will “combine elements of the play with new storylines and weave them together to bring the production to the big screen.”

The 2008 stage play featured the talents of Terrence Howard, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones, but it’s not clear if Fuqua will attempt to bring any of the production’s cast members into this new big screen adaptation. But he will be producing the movie with the stage show’s team of Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey. Fuqua said in a statement:

“Bringing such a historic production to the screen is an honor I am thrilled to have alongside Stephen and Alia. 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 theatre to cinema.”

Byrd and Jones-Harvey have plenty of stage production experience, with credits that include A Streetcar Named Desire, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations. They’ve also got musicals about Bob Marley and Michael Jackson in the works, but this will be the first film production that they’ve tackled.

Taking on a classic story like this comes with a lot of pressure, especially since this is the first drama of this kind that Antoine Fuqua has directed. But the filmmaker knows how to craft award-worthy drama along with stylish action, so hopefully this will be worth our time.

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