Potter tunes up for bigscreen production

NEW YORK — Producer Steven Haft (“Dead Poet’s Society”) has acquired the rights to Dennis Potter’s screenplay “The Singing Detective,” which was originally produced as a BBC miniseries starring Michael Gambon in 1986.

Potter developed a feature film adaptation of “Detective” that moves the story and musical score to 1950s Chicago. Haft will produce the film directly from Potter’s script.

“Watching Dennis Potter’s ‘The Singing Detective’ is one of the most powerful cinema experiences I’ve ever had,” Haft said. “Its core storyline about a man doing battle with his own nightmares is profoundly haunting.”

Haft developed and produced “Emma,” a Miramax release that established Gwyneth Paltrow as an international star and won the Oscar for musical score.

He and Marsha Williams are in post-production on TriStar/Blue Wolf’s “Jakob the Liar” starring Robin Williams.

Haft’s other producing credits include “The Third Miracle,” with American Zoetrope and Phoenician Films, and “The Bumblebee Flies,” in partnership with the Shooting Gallery.

Haft will reteam with the Shooting Gallery on Gregory Mosher’s adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Laughter in the Dark.” Pic marks the feature film helming debut of Mosher, the former director of Lincoln Center Theater.

The Dennis Potter Estate is represented in the U.S. by Merrily Kane of the Artists Agency and Michael Peretzian at the William Morris Agency and in the U.K. by Judy Daish Associates.

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