Drama based on life of American playwright

Taylor Hackford is prepping to direct “Tenn,” a drama about the formative years of playwright Tennessee Williams, whose dysfunctional family life fueled some of his most acclaimed stage works.

Robin Shushan has written the screenplay.

Infinity Media’s Michael Ohoven (“Capote”) is financing development and will produce with Dan Halsted.

Pic focuses on how Williams’ tumultuous upbringing — complete with a scornful father, depression, conflicts about sexuality and watching his beloved sister institutionalized and lobotomized — fueled the conflict in such plays as “The Glass Menagerie” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Ohoven said the script was a close parallel to “Capote,” which turned the “In Cold Blood” author’s relationship with two murderers into a riveting drama.

“I had that same incredible feeling reading this script that I had on ‘Capote,’ and here again is an extremely dramatic story about how a torn and twisted life led Williams to write such great successes,” Ohoven said.

Shushan adapted the Craig Clevenger novel “The Contortionist’s Handbook” for GreeneStreet Films, and scripted a film about the J. Paul Getty kidnapping for Universal and director Peter Berg.

Timing on the picture is unclear, as Hackford could take another job before “Tenn.” He just completed directing “Love Ranch” with wife Helen Mirren starring with Joe Pesci.

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