Glenn Close To Reprise ‘Sunset Boulevard’ Role Again, This Time For Cinema | Film News
Having just reprised the lead role in the West End and Broadway productions of Sunset Boulevard after over 20 years, Glenn Close is to yet again become Norma Desmond, this time in the film adaptation of the musical, headed by Paramount.
Sunset Boulevard was based on Billy Wilder‘s 1950 Academy Award-winning film of the same name. Reimagined by writers Don Black and Christopher Hampton, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the story has enjoyed great success on stages over the world, and over the years.
The production follows Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star obsessed with her former glory days. Deluded, she employs young screenwriter Joe Gillis to resurrect her career in a retelling of Greek tragedy Salome. She’s far too old for the role, lacks a male lead, and has produced an incoherent script, but is intent on having a spectacular return. Norma’s desperation and delusion descends further into complete madness and paranoia.
Glenn Close has enjoyed four runs as Norma; Los Angeles (1993), Broadway (1994), West End (2016), and again Broadway (2017). Close’s return to the role has been welcomed with great critical acclaim, and is said to equal, if not better, the original runs which earned her a Tony Award in 1995.
Close certainly seems favoured by Andrew Lloyd Webber over original West End lead (and overall theatre legend) Patti Lupone, who was dismissed from the show’s Broadway premiere without warning.
Though itself based on a film, Webber’s Sunset Boulevard has never seen the big screen. The adaptation has been attempted many times over the years, with plenty of stars attached by 2006, including Liza Minnelli, Meryl Streep, and Barbra Streisand. Back in 2008, Webber remained hopeful that a film would one day be made. In 2011, he expressed the desire for Madonna to lead, but after seeing her in Evita, I’m glad that didn’t materialise.
It seems Webber’s plans are almost coming through, announcing that a filming of Close on stage could be the answer, in 2011. Instead, we’re getting one better with a full on adaptation. Perhaps it is Paramount we have to thank, for changing their reluctance to negotiations that Webber spoke of in 2013.
There are plenty more details to be released on the project once Close finalises a deal. However, TV auteur Ryan Murphy has been attached to direct the adaptation. Production is expected to start in January, so I imagine news will be made fairly quickly.
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