January 20, 2011 / 2:32 AM / 7 years ago

"X-Men" director adds Bob Fosse film to dance card

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Bryan Singer is going from mutants and giants to the life of one of the great choreographer-directors of the 20th Century.

HBO Films has optioned “Bye, Bye Life: The Loves and Deaths of Bob Fosse,” a forthcoming biography from Sam Wasson. Singer (“X-Men,” the upcoming “Jack the Giant Killer”) is attached to direct the untitled feature adaptation.

He will also serve as an executive producer alongside Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, the duo behind “Hairspray,” “Chicago” and the upcoming “Footloose” remake. No writer is on board.

Actor, dancer, choreographer and stage and screen director, Fosse himself presented a version of his life in his autobiographical 1979 feature film “All That Jazz.” That Oscar-winning film starred Roy Scheider as a hard-living choreographer/director determined to push the envelope.

After several early film appearances in movies like “Kiss Me Kate,” Fosse moved to Broadway, where he choreographed shows like “The Pajama Game” and “Damn Yankees” -- on Yankees, he met his future wife, dancer Gwen Verdon.

Fosse created his own, immediately-recognized jazz dance style, full of bowler hats, jazz hands, angular hip thrusts and shrugging shoulders. On Broadway, he went on to direct and choreograph such shows as “Redhead,” “Sweet Charity,” “Pippin” and “Chicago.”

He made his film debut as a director with the 1969 movie version of “Sweet Charity,” starring Shirley MacLaine. His second feature “Cabaret” won eight Oscars, including best director and best picture. In addition to “All That Jazz,” his other feature credits include “Lenny,” which starred Dustin Hoffman as comedian Lenny Bruce, and “Star 80,” in which Mariel Hemingway played murdered Playboy centerfold Dorothy Stratten. Fosse died in 1987, aged 60.

Wasson is a movie historian and wrote “A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards” as well as “Fifth Avenue, 5AM: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Dawn of the Modern Woman.”

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