Classic Western ‘High Noon’ Headed To Broadway Under ‘Forrest Gump’ Writer’s Direction

by Megan Molseed

The classic 1952 western film starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly is being adapted for Broadway. This production which is created by Eric Roth. Roth is the writer behind the Tom Hanks classic film Forrest Gump is slated to hit the stage by 2023.

High Noon Is Making Its Way Onto The Broadway Stage

The 1952 Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly classic sees Cooper as the town marshal who must rise to the occasion before the clock strikes noon. This comes as a gang of murderous killers is headed to town to wreak havoc at high noon. The film is directed by Fred Zinneman and produced by Stanley Kramer. High Noon received multiple recognitions over the years, including seven Acadamy Award nominations; of which the film won four.

Furthermore, the film received major recognition 37 years after its release. In 1989, High Noon was added to the National Registry of Film by the Library of Congress. This recognition notes that the film holds important cultural and historical significance.

Oscar-Winning Writer Eric Roth Is Set To Pen Broadway Adaption Of Gary Cooper And Grace Kelly Classic Western Film

Taking on the task of adapting this 1952 classic starring film icons Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly is Eric Roth. Roth is the award-winning writer behind films such as Forrest Gump, and Dune. He also brought the Brad Pitt vehicle, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to the screen in 2008. Michael Arden, the Tony Award-nominated director is also joining the project. Arden is the mind behind Deaf West’s Spring Awakening, and Once on This Island.

The Upcoming Production Is The First Western To Premiere On Broadway In Several Years

According to the producers of the upcoming production, Paula Wagner and Hunter Arnold, this production of High Noon will be the first of its kind to premiere on Broadway in 85 years.

“When Eric Roth presented his vision for a stage adaptation of High Noon, I immediately saw the potential for a theatrical presentation of the iconic story,” notes Wagner. The producer adds that High Noon has a major appeal to audiences because it’s largely “about doing the right thing in spite of public opinion and external pressure.”

Wagner also notes that the film “continues to captivate audiences with a classic Western portrayal of a person standing up for what is right in the face of apathy and rejection.”

According to Wagner, Roth’s talents will “bring these classic characters to life.” A task, Wagner notes, that will come as they adapt High Noon’s “timeless situation of bravery and civic responsibility,” for the stage.

“The talent and vision of director Michael Arden will provide a fresh perspective on these classic themes,” the producer adds. “Hunter and I are looking forward to bringing High Noon to its rightful place on the stage.”