Alison Bechdel‘s Fun Home is making its way to cinemas, according to The Daily Mail entertainment columnist Baz Bamigboye. In a tweet posted Thursday afternoon, Bamigboye said Jake Gyllenhaal is set to produce a film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical based on Bechdel’s graphic memoir under his Nine Stories Productions banner.
According to Bamigboye, Gyllenhaal will also star as Bechdel’s late father, Bruce Bechdel, and Tony Award-winning director Sam Gold — who helmed the original Broadway production — will direct.
Breaking:#JakeGyllenhaal production company developing film of @TheTonyAwards winning musical #FunHome by @KronLisa & @JeanineTesori based on @AlisonBechdel ‘s memoir.#SamGold to direct . Gyllenhaal to play Bruce Bechdel , Ms.Bechdel’s father . pic.twitter.com/zlbFOBQQY9
— Baz Bamigboye (@BazBam) January 2, 2020
As of Friday morning, this report has not been confirmed, but it is already generating major buzz, and rightly so. Bechdel has had a major impact not just on comics, but on culture as a whole. In 2019, she was inducted into the Harvey Awards Hall of Fame for her work, which includes the multi-award winning Fun Home and the strip Dykes to Watch Out For.
Fun Home, first published in 2006, chronicles Bechdel’s childhood and adolescence growing up in rural Pennsylvania. She puts particular focus on her coming into her lesbian identity, as well as her complex relationship with her father, a closeted gay man who committed suicide when she was in college. The book received a Lambda Literary Award, GLAAD Media Award, and Stonewall Book Award.
Fun Home was later adapted for stage by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori; it debuted Off-Broadway in 2013 and entered previews in March 2015 before officially opening in April. The musical received five Tony Awards that year, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score.. The original Broadway production ran until September 2016 and was followed by a U.S. tour and international productions.
Gyllenhaal is no stranger to Broadway, or to darkly comedic coming-of-age tales, which makes him an excellent fit to adapt Fun Home for the silver screen. If the film follows the same structure as the musical, there will be three versions of Bechdel: Small Alison, Medium Alison, and Alison, the latter being the successful middle-aged cartoonist who recalls the two former time periods in her life as she works on her memoir in the present day.
Jumping into a new decade with a potential new Fun Home adaptation in the works is very exciting. Stay tuned for more on this developing story, right here at The Beat.
If only this had been filmed a decade earlier …
It obviously won’t be an MCU-sized blockbuster, but it could be a decent cult movie like Ghost World or American Splendor.
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