'Precious' helmer eyes Broadway play

Helmer Lee Daniels will develop the screenplay for the feature adaptation of Nilo Cruz’s Broadway play “Anna in the Tropics.”

Film rights to the play have been acquired by Austin, Texas-based Mankind Entertainment’s John Torres Martinez and Joe Lamy. Daniels will develop the screenplay with Cruz.

The play, set in Tampa, Fla., takes place in a cigar factory during the Great Depression and follows a family of Cuban cigar rollers whose lives are changed forever through the power of literature.

Play won the Pulitzer Prize and the Steinberg award in 2003 and later garnered two Tony nominations.

WME Global is representing the film for packaging and sales.

Martinez and Lamy acquired the rights from Cruz and will be financing development and steering the project through packaging and production. Casting will begin next year.

Mankind is working on the upcoming biopic “Castro’s Daughter,” written by Bobby Moresco (“Crash”) and Cruz.

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