The long-in-development “Yellow Handkerchief” is getting a new life at Universal Pictures, with Michael Corrente (“American Buffalo,” “Federal Hill”) now attached to direct. Sylvester Stallone, who is working on revamping his onscreen image, is coming aboard to develop the love story, and would do the project for no upfront fee, sources said.
Based on a true story, “Yellow Handkerchief” is about a man who divorces his wife when he’s sent to jail. Upon his release, he writes to say he’ll pass through her town on the bus; if she wants him back, she’s to tie a yellow handkerchief on the old oak tree in the town’s center. The story was the basis for the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” made famous by Tony Orlando and Dawn.
The project, which was written by New York Post journalist Pete Hamill, has gone through several incarnations over the years. Jim Sheridan (“In the Name of the Father,” “My Left Foot”) previously was attached to direct. The original deal for the picture involved Shochiku, Japan’s oldest motion picture production company. The new pic was inspired by the 1977 Japanese film “A Yellow Handkerchief of Happiness.” WMA’s Arnold Rifkin reps Stallone.