The project, titled “Tab & Tony,” is in early development without actors or a director attached. Playwright Doug Wright, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “I am My Own Wife,” has been hired to write the screenplay.
Producers are Abrams through his Bad Robot company, his “Star Trek” collaborator Quinto, Hunter’s longtime partner Allan Glaser, and Neil Koenigsberg.
The movie is based on Hunter’s account of his struggle to come to terms with being gay in the 1950s. Hunter wrote the 2005 book “Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star,” which became a New York Times bestseller and detailed his rise to Hollywood heartthrob status in the 1950s while he was being marketed as the ideal man, as well as his issues with revealing his sexuality over the course of his career.
“Tab Hunter Confidential” was the basis for a 2015 documentary of the same name directed by Jeffrey Schwarz and produced by Glaser, Koenigsberg, and Schwartz.
Perkins died of AIDS-related causes in 1992. He was nominated for the Academy Award for best supporting actor for “Friendly Persuasion” and is best known for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and its three sequels. He also starred in “Fear Strikes Out,” “On the Beach,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Catch-22,” and “The Matchmaker.”
Hunter will turn 87 next month. He starred in 40 movies including “Battle Cry,””Damn Yankees,” “Sea Chase,” and “The Burning HIlls.”
Quinto is currently on Broadway in the revival of Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band” and stars in “Hotel Artemis,” which opens this weekend. Abrams is in pre-production to shoot “Star Wars: Episode IX” and is executive producing HBO’s sci-fi drama “Westworld.”