(WB) “Brokeback Mountain” star Jake Gyllenhaal has been set to produce and star in a film adaptation of “Fun Home,” the Broadway musical based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel of the same name.
Winner of the 2015 Tony for Best Musical, “Fun Home” was originally adapted from out cartoonist Bechdel’s groundbreaking 2006 memoir by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori; it depicts Bechdel onstage at three different ages, as she delves into memories of her dysfunctional upbringing – especially those surrounding her closeted father – in a home that also served as the location for the family’s mortuary business.
According to Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye, the Oscar-nominated Gyllenhall will take on the role of Bechdel’s father, Bruce, which was originated onstage in a Tony-winning performance by Michael Cerveris. The show’s original director, Sam Gold, who also took home a Tony for his work, is on board to direct the film version as well.
Gyllenhall will produce through his company, Nine Stories Productions.
In addition to Cerveris, the original Broadway cast included Judy Kuhn, Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas and Emily Skeggs; the production received a total of 12 Tony nominations, of which it won five – the aforementioned nods for Cerveris, Gold, and the show itself, as well as Best Score and Best Book. At the time of its Broadway run, it was heralded as a major step forward for queer female voices in theatre, with original author Bechdel telling Playbill, “Even musicals about women, where women are the central characters and not just a romantic lead and really have a story of their own [are rare]… The moment with Small Alison singing about the butch delivery woman feels huge. To have a child sing about desire and identification; it’s brilliant.”‘
As for Gyllenhall, he is no novice when it comes to material from the theatre. He starred in an acclaimed production of “Sunday in the Park with George,” Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s iconic musical about artist Georges Seurat, which enjoyed a limited run on Broadway in 2017, and was recently seen there in “Sea Wall/A Life.” He has also produced the hit Broadway production, “Slave Play,” and is producing an updomiing revival of Tony Kushner’s musical, “Caroline or Change.”