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Warner to Make 'Rent' with Columbus

originally posted May 7, 2004

Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired feature rights to the Jonathan Larson musical Rent from Miramax Films, with Chris Columbus set to write and direct.

Rent, an updated version of Puccini's "La Boheme" set in NY's East Village, has been a passion project long in development at Miramax. The property got a fresh boost last year after the triumph of Chicago at the Oscars and box office.

The Tony Award-winning musical has run on Broadway since 1996.

Miramax came close to developing the musical with Spike Lee as its director, but the studio spiked the production over budgetary concerns.

Columbus most recently directed the first two installments of the Harry Potter franchise for Warners. He's developing the Katherine Fugate script NFL Dad for the studio.

Rent will be the first live-action musical for Warner since Bert Rigby, You're a Fool, Carl Reiner's 1989 adaptation of the Broadway musical starring Robert Lindsay.

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