U sticks to ‘Bees in Honey’

Proving it’s easier to attract plays with money, Universal Pictures has lured the film rights to the hot legit property “As Bees in Honey Drown” by Douglas Carter Beane, for Sandollar Prods.

The deal is said to potentially be worth $700,000 for Beane, who will pen the screenplay. Sandollar topper Sandy Gallin will produce along with the company’s co-president, Abby Wolf. Wolf is credited with championing the project and brought it into the Universal fold.

“Bees in Honey” — which Beane fine-tuned during last year’s Sundance Theatre Lab — is a satirical comedy about a socialite (Alexa Vere de Vere) who woos a young novelist into writing a screenplay about her life, and changes his life in the process.

Their relationship serves to dissect the nasty and seductive influence of greed for fame, glamour and wealth.

Universal was able to land the sought-after project after Touchstone, where Sandollar has a first-look deal, passed on the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”-type satire. Universal’s Stacey Snider struck the deal for the project, based on the legit show currently running at New York’s Lucille Lortel Theatre.

Universal production exec Allison Brecker brought the project into the studio.

The play — directed by Mark Brokaw, who reaped awards for his work on “How I Learned to Drive” — is the third (and first original) production from the Drama Dept., the Off-Broadway company for which Beane serves as artistic director.

Beane’s previous screen work includes scripting “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.”

Beane was repped on his deal by Mary Meagher of the William Morris Agency.

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