Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson: “The Graduate” is graduating to London’s West End.
Rock music manager John Reid and stage producer Sacha Brooks have concluded a deal with French pay TV giant Canal Plus to mount a legit production of the 1967 United Artists hit, which launched the career of a hitherto unknown Dustin Hoffman as the feckless Benjamin Braddock.
Initial information suggests that the play would be closely based on the pic, for which director Mike Nichols won an Oscar, and which co-starred Anne Bancroft in an Oscar-nominated portrayal of the randy but embittered Mrs. Robinson.
The 1967 pic, which was based on the novel by Charles Webb, was penned by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry.
Reid and Brooks are still searching for a writer for the stage adaptation, but nonetheless want the production to open in London next spring.
According to Canal Plus director of programs and subsidiaries Stephane Sperry — who oversees audiovisual rights division Canal Plus Images — Canal is actively pursuing a number of other stage spinoffs from its huge film library.
A legit adaptation of the Ealing comedy “Kind Hearts and Coronets,” for example, is already headed to the West End, after a tour of the U.K. Canal Plus Image is developing two other Ealing comedies for the stage, one of which will be a musical.
Image, which controls the rights to 5,000 pics, including the Carolco, UGC and Lumiere libraries, is also upping its theatrical re-releasing activity in the U.S., principally through distribbery Rialto Pictures.
Planned for next year is the re-release of Carol Reed’s classic spy thriller “The Third Man,” starring Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard and Orson Welles.
This year Images theatrically re-released Federico Fellini’s “Nights of Cabiria” via Rialto. Pic grossed around $700,000.
Reid is one of the best-known managers on the British rock scene. His clients have included Elton John, Cliff Richard, Simple Minds, Paul Young, Barry Humphries, Freddie Mercury and Scottish comic Billy Connolly. He also reps Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Brooks has been involved in such West End shows as “Sugar Babies,” “Me and My Girl” and “Other People’s Money.”