“My dad and I both grew up in the same small Pennsylvania town. And he was gay. And I was gay. And he killed himself. And I became a lesbian cartoonist.”
So begins Fun Home, a coming-of-age musical based on Alison Bechdel’s relationship with her closeted father.
Fun Home, composer Jeanine Tesori and out playwright Lisa Kron’s adaptation of Bechdel’s acclaimed 2006 graphic memoir of the same name, is regarded as the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist.
Baz Bamigboye, a gossip columnist and entertainment writer for the Daily Mail, reports that Jake Gyllenhaal, 39, has secured the rights to produce and star in a Fun Home film. He will play troubled gay patriarch Bruce Bechdel, who runs the family funeral home.
The Oscar-nominated Brokeback Mountain star reportedly “became fascinated” with the musical in New York. The film adaptation, which “may shoot later this year or next,” is being developed by Gyllenhaal’s business partner Riva Marker, who leads his Nine Stories production company.
Tony winner Sam Gold, who helmed Fun Home in New York and London, is also expected to direct the film.
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
Gyllenhaal is no stranger to musicals after starring in the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park With George. He also headlined a 2015 New York staging of Little Shop of Horrors.
Tony winner Michael Cerveris originated the role of Bruce in New York. Hugh Jackman publicly expressed interest in playing the part when the musical transferred from off-Broadway to Broadway.
The original Broadway cast of Fun Home, a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, also featured Beth Malone, Emily Skeggs, and Sydney Lucas as author-narrator Alison Bechdel at three different ages.
Following its 2013 world premiere off-Broadway at the Public Theater, Fun Home opened in 2015 at Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre. The musical ended its Broadway run the following year after 26 previews and 582 regular performances.
Fun Home won five Tony awards: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, and Best Leading Actor in a Musical for Cerveris.
Gyllenhaal played a bisexual art critic in the 2019 Netflix film Velvet Buzzsaw, marking his first queer role since 2005’s Brokeback Mountain. It was announced in 2018 that Gyllenhaal planned to produce and star in The American, a biopic about late gay composer Leonard Bernstein.