Beau Willimon’s trajectory is the sort that inspires young writers to dream big: Before he’d ever had a professional production, his play “Farragut North” was optioned for the Great White Way.
The drama, about an idealistic communication director manipulated by presidential campaign shenanigans, will be helmed by Rialto regular Doug Hughes this season.
Barely 30, Willimon, who hails from St. Louis, is writing a “Farragut” screenplay for Warner Bros., part of a two-pic deal to include an adaptation of “A Tale of Two Cities.” He’s adapting BBC miniseries “The Jury” for Fox 2000. Hollywood’s sudden embrace was unanticipated. “I’d never been to L.A. before,” he says. “I had 70 meetings in 10 days.”
“Lower Ninth,” his Katrina-inspired drama, was produced last winter by the Flea Theater, and he’s been newly commissioned by Manhattan Theater Club. “The danger is thinking you’re entitled to people paying attention; you have to earn it with each thing you write,” Willimon says. “Hollywood may come and go, but you can always put a play up, even if it’s for half a dozen people in a living room.”