Emma Thompson and director Mike Nichols have committed to making the HBO original movie “Wit,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Margaret Edson.
Movie will be an Avenue Pictures production for HBO, with the cabler footing the bill. Nichols and Avenue prexy-CEO Cary Brokaw are exec producing.
Film is slated to shoot in London in September.
The two worked together on “Primary Colors,” with Thompson starring in the pic that Nichols directed and produced.
“Wit” centers on Dr. Vivian Bearing, a renowned professor of John Donne’s poetry who is forced to reassess her life when she is diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. As grim as that sounds, play has also been praised for its wit and insight.
The play preemed at the South Coast Rep in 1995 but it was Derek Anson Jones’ production at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven — which later traveled to New York and Los Angeles — that garnered the play the 1999 Pulitzer for drama.
It opened April 3 at the Vaudeville Theater in London’s West End, with director Leigh Silverman replicating the original staging of Jones, who recently died. Production, which runs 17 weeks, stars Kathleen Chalfant in a reprise of her award-winning New York performance.
Brokaw’s Avenue Pictures is a division of Avenue Entertainment Group. Brokaw and his shingle’s credits include “Restoration,” “Short Cuts,” “Drugstore Cowboy” and “The Object of Beauty.” Brokaw previously produced “Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing” for HBO and “Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight” for TNT.
Nichols, who won an Oscar for directing “The Graduate” in 1967, has helmed such films as “Carnal Knowledge,” “Day of the Dolphin,” “Biloxi Blues,” “The Birdcage,” “Postcards From the Edge,” “Regarding Henry,” “Silkwood” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”
Thompson, who won a screenplay Oscar for adapting Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” for screen, starred in “Sense,” “The Remains of the Day” and “Howard’s End” — among other films.
Nichols is repped by CAA; Thompson is repped by WMA.