Steven Spielberg is set to executive produce a limited series adaptation of Tom Stoppard‘s acclaimed play Leopoldstadt, which is on Broadway through July 2.
Patrick Marber (Closer), who directed the play when it first opened in London’s West End and also directed the current Broadway incarnation, will write the script, while Emmy winner Stephen Daldry (The Crown) will direct the series per Deadline, which broke the news.
Set over 50 years, Leopoldstadt follows a Jewish family in Vienna from the turn of the 20th Century through the hardships of both World War I and World War II, during which numerous family members were killed in the Holocaust — just as all four of Stoppard’s grandparents died in concentration camps, inspiring him to write the play.
Right now, the limited series is set up at Amblin, which is shopping it to top streamers as well as cable networks such as HBO, though that network’s literary miniseries The Plot Against America, which offered an alternate American history during World War II as told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey, earned only a single Emmy nomination for cinematography, so Casey Bloys may be reluctant to jump into the fray for this project, which is sure to be expensive.
Regardless of where Leopoldstadt lands — or when — Marber won’t begin adapting Stoppard’s play until after the Writers Strike concludes. It’s still early days for this limited series, as deals are still coming together.
Leopoldstadt won the 2020 Olivier Award as well as awards from the New York Drama League, the Outer Critics Circle, and The New York Drama Critics Circle. Thus, it is considered the frontrunner to win Best Play at the Tony Awards on June 2. There’s also speculation that it could be Stoppard’s final masterwork, as he’s now 85 years old.
Spielberg is also an EP on Apple’s upcoming limited series Masters of the Air, and he’s currently developing a new take on Bullitt, which is expected to be his next film. He’s also a producer on the upcoming Color Purple musical, which Warner Bros. will be pushing for Oscars later this year.
Stoppard is represented by United Agents and Bob Bookman Management, while CAA represents Spielberg, Daldry, and Marber, the latter of whom is also repped by LBI Entertainment and United Agents.