The Guys, here with Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray...
The Guys, here with Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray...
When The Guys first opened as a workshop production at the Flea Theater in December, Anne Nelson's quietly moving, two-character play about the unlikely alliance between a New York City fire department captain and an editor in the aftermath of 9/11/01 starred Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray, both of whom won praise for their performances. (Click here to access David Finkle's review for TheaterMania.) Murray was only in the show for a short time before being succeeded by Bill Irwin. Then Susan Sarandon and Anthony LaPaglia took over the roles of Nick, the captain who has lost so many of his men in the collapse of the World Trade Center, and Joan, the woman who uses her editorial and writing expertise to help him craft eulogies for the fallen heroes.

As is often the case with shows that feature revolving casts (Love Letters, The Vagina Monologues, etc.), any alternate combination of the above actors would no doubt highlight different facets of the material. As it turns out, Weaver and LaPaglia have been chosen to appear in a movie version of the play, to be financed and distributed by ContentFilm. The flick will be directed by Weaver's husband, Jim Simpson, who helmed the stage production and who is also artistic director of the Flea; it will be produced by Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente of Open City Films.

...and here with Susan Sarandon and Anthony LaPaglia
...and here with Susan Sarandon and Anthony LaPaglia
Though Weaver played most of her stage performances of the show with Murray or Irwin, she and LaPaglia did appear together on one occasion: According to Erik Sniedze of the Flea, Weaver filled in when Sarandon had to miss one performance during the first week of LaPaglia's run. The Guys is still going strong at the theater, starring Swoosie Kurtz and Tim Robbins through April 19. No future casting has yet been announced.

The movie version of The Guys will be shot on location in New York City, with photography scheduled to begin later this month. To what extent will this wonderfully intimate, two character, one-act piece be "opened up" for the screen? "I think it's going to be a pretty straightforward adaptation," says Jeremy Walker, publicist for the film. "They are going to be shooting a few exteriors but I don't think they'll be adding characters or making significant changes to the play." According to Walker, no target release date for the film has been set as of this writing.