‘Hairspray’ director says Hi, Hi ‘Birdie’

01.06.09 9 years ago

Phil McCarten/AP

Adam Shankman is reportedly giving new life to Columbia’s remake of “Bye Bye Birdie.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shankman will develop and produce the the musical, which is set up through Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher’s Red Wagon banner.

One thing the trade paper doesn’t make clear is whether or not the “Hairspray” helmer also intends the direct the long-gestating project.

“Bye Bye Birdie” premiered in 1958 and launched a number of familiar tunes including “Put on a Happy Face,” “Kids” and “A Lot of Living to Do.”

The story focuses on a songwriter and his long-suffering girlfriend who concoct an elaborate scheme to to give an Elvis-like pop singer named Conrad Birdie a final major publicity stunt before he’s shipped off to the army. Conrad will give one of his fans “One Last Kiss” on “The Ed Sullivan Show” before going overseas. Of course, very little goes as planned.

A 1963 film version starred Dick Van Dyke, while Jason Alexander played the lead in a 1995 telefilm.

Columbia’s recent efforts to get “Bye Bye Birdie” back on the big screen included a version to be written by Tina Fey and a long development with John Chu set to direct. Shankman, of course, would later tap Chu to direct “Step Up 2 the Streets.”

Shankman directed Adam Sandler’s recent holiday hit “Bedtime Stories,” as well as the hits “The Pacifier” and “Bringing Down the House.” The veteran choreographer has lined up several possible follow-ups, including Disney’s “Bob: The Musical” and “The 8th Voyage of Sinbad,” at Columbia. 

In addition, Shankman is a producer on Zac Efron’s “17 Again.”

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