Mark Gordon and Molly Smith are producing the film, which revolves around the relationship between a white radio DJ and an African American aspiring singer in segregated Tennessee in the 1950s.
Joe DiPietro, who wrote the book and co-wrote the lyrics with David Bryan, will pen the script. Its 1,166-performance Broadway run ended earlier this year. It was first staged in 2003 at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass., and TheatreWorks in Mountain View, Calif. It opened on Broadway on Oct. 19, 2009, and won four Tony Awards including best musical in 2010.The production is now touring the United States.
The stage version of Memphis is loosely based on disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.
*Eddie Murphy is taking on another popular animated character.
The comedian, already cemented as the voice of Donkey in the four “Shrek” movies, has signed on to voice Hong Kong Phooey, in a film of the same name based.
Folks of a certain age already know the character from the 1970s Hanna-Barbera animated TV series about a dog who becomes a kung fu crime fighter. [Scroll down to watch video.]
Alex Zamm (“Tooth Fairy 2”) is directing Alcon Entertainment’s big screen version, which will mix live action with animation. Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce with Jay Stern and Brett Ratner.
The property revolves around a dog, Penry, to be played by Murphy, who is granted mystic powers, including the ability to walk, talk and do kung fu. Donning a costume to become Hong Kong Phooey, he sets out to combat criminals. Scatman Crothers provided the character’s voice in the TV series.
Murphy also voiced the character of Mushu, the Dragon, in Dreamworks Animation’s “Mulan.” He’ll next be seen in Universal’s “Tower Heist,” starring opposite Ben Stiller for director Ratner, and Dreamworks’ “A Thousand Words.”