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Sunset Boulevard Film Adaptation, Starring Glenn Close, Moves Forward

Tony-winning choreographer Rob Ashford will direct the big-screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical.

Glenn Close as Norma Desmond in the 2017 revival of Sunset Boulevard at Broadway's Palace Theatre.
(© Joan Marcus)

According to published reports, plans are moving ahead with the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, featuring Glenn Close in her Tony-winning performance as Norma Desmond.

Tony-winning choreographer Rob Ashford has reportedly signed on to direct the Paramount Pictures project — his feature directorial debut. Ashford's Broadway choreography credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Wedding Singer, Curtains, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Evita, and the currently running Frozen. He additionally directed NBC's live productions of The Sound of Music and Peter Pan.

Inspired by Billy Wilder's seminal 1950 film, Sunset Boulevard features book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, with additional lyric development by Amy Powers. Close originated the role of Norma Desmond on Broadway in 1994, and reprised her performance at Broadway's Palace Theatre in 2017, following a run at the English National Opera's London Coliseum.

Sunset Boulevard tells the story of Norma Desmond, a washed-up silent film star, who lives in a dilapidated mansion on Sunset Boulevard. When she encounters a young screenwriter named Joe Gillis, she sees him as her opportunity to make a comeback to the silver screen.

Close was recently up for her seventh Oscar, nominated for her leading performance in The Wife.

Production of Sunset Boulevard is set to begin this fall.