Gary Ross to Direct Contemporary Story About CYRANO DE BERGERAC

     May 12, 2011


Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) is attached to direct a contemporary version of the legend surrounding Cyrano de Bergerac.  Bergerac was a French dramatist in the 17th century best remembered for the works of fiction loosely based on his life, most notably the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand.  In Rostand’s play, Bergerac is a romantic whose large nose prevents him from expressing his love to Roxane, the woman of his dreams.  Instead, he secretly helps a more handsome suitor woo the Roxane.  According to THR, Ross’ take on the material is set in the present day reimagines the story using “today’s vast and complex social media tools.”  I suppose that’s as good as any modern entry point into the classic tale.  The fictional Bergerac would have been a great tweeter.

John Whittington will write the script.  The project is set up at New Regency with Nina Jacobson (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Ross’ producing partner Alison Thomas (The Tale of Desperaux) producing.  Prior to this project, Ross and Jacobson will work together on the adaptation of The Hunger Games, scheduled for release March 23, 2012.  Read a full synopsis for Cyrano de Bergerac after the break.

Set in 17th-century Paris, the action revolves around the emotional problems of the noble, swashbuckling Cyrano, who, despite his many gifts, feels that no woman can ever love him because he has an enormous nose. Secretly in love with the lovely Roxane, Cyrano agrees to help his inarticulate rival, Christian, win her heart by allowing him to present Cyrano’s love poems, speeches, and letters as his own work. [Amazon]

The play was first adapted to feature film in 1925.  Since then, there have been at least a couple more direct adaptations: José Ferrer as Cyrano won the Best Actor Oscar in 1950, and Gérard Depardieu was nominated for his own portrayal in 1990.  Looser adaptations include the Steve Martin comedy Roxane and The Truth About Cats & Dogs, which reversed the genders of the main characters.

Of course, the definitive version for this writer is the Wishbone episode “Cyranose.”

José Ferrer as Cyrano

Gérard Depardieu as Cyrano


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