TWC recently optioned legit and film rights to the book, first published by Delta in 2001.
VP of production and development Ben Famiglietti, whose purview includes both film and legit productions, said it is unclear which version would come first. The stage version would naturally be cheaper and quicker to produce, but some filmmakers could even guide both, starting with a film.
While Garland’s life and legacy have been explored before in popular culture, Weinstein noted Clarke’s take “is particularly outstanding because of its exclusive details from her own writings.”
Famiglietti said Hathaway’s commitment has already prompted strong interest from filmmakers, screenwriters and librettists.
“You get an enhanced perspective of Judy Garland through this book and we feel Anne can really put her own stamp on that,” he said.
Garland was the subject of an Emmy-winning 2001 telepic produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. She also appeared as a character in Broadway’s “The Boy From Oz,” and Rufus Wainwright performed a sold-out, one-night re-creation of Garland’s famed concert at Carnegie Hall.
“Get Happy” is the second legit project for Hathaway to be announced this spring. The thesp stars later this summer in the Shakespeare in the Park production of “Twelfth Night.”
The actress, who showed off her singing chops during this year’s Oscarcast, has long been discussed as a promising candidate for a Broadway stint. Over the past few years she’s been tipped to be circling a couple of Rialto tuners, including “Guys and Dolls” (which opened this spring with another cast) and a potential revival of “Promises, Promises.”
She was previously seen on the Gotham boards in an Encores! production of “Carnival” in 2002.
TWC’s Garland plans fall in line with the recently-boosted profile of the company’s legit projects.
A developing tuner version of “Finding Neverland,” planned for a Rialto bow in 2010, is the first in a lineup that also includes stage adaptations of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chocolat,” “Cinema Paradiso” and “Shall We Dance?”