David Mamet is set to write and direct and new version of Holocaust story The Diary of Anne Frank for Disney, which recently acquired rights to the book, according to Variety. The new film will be a compendium of Frank’s diary, the stage play by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, and Mamet’s own original take on the material that could reframe the story as a young girl’s rite of passage.
Anne Frank died at age 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, becoming an icon of the Holocaust after the post-war publication of the diary that she kept during the two years that her family hid in a hidden attic in Amsterdam.
The 1959 adaptation of the play earned an Oscar for Shelley Winters. Frank’s story has also been told several times on TV, most recently ABC’s 2001 Emmy-winning miniseries Anne Frank: The Whole Story.
According to the report, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Mamet, who most recently directed the Chiwetel Ejiofor film Redbelt, makes his Broadway directorial debut this Fall, when he opens his play Race, at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Actor and comedian David Alan Grier is among the cast, along with James Spader, Kerry Washington and Richard Thomas, according to various reports. Few details have been released surrounding the plot, other than it tackles racial issues.
Also on Mamet’s plate, is the play Keep Your Pantheon, which Mamet is bringing to Atlantic’s Off Broadway, which Mamet formed with actor William H. Macy.