- Associated Press - Thursday, June 28, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - A lead producer of Nora Ephron’s new play, “Lucky Guy,” says he is “committed” to getting her biography of a newspaper columnist on a Broadway stage despite the death this week of the playwright.

Colin Callender said Thursday that his team “can think of no more fitting tribute to her extraordinary writing and remarkable body of work” than to proceed with plans to produce Ephron’s play.

“We are honored to be part of her legacy and remain committed to seeing her magnificent work `Lucky Guy’ shine on Broadway,” Callender said in a statement.

“Lucky Guy” follows the story of tabloid reporter Mike McAlary, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for his coverage on the New York City police brutalization of Abner Louima. McAlary died that same year of colon cancer at age 41.

When word of the potential production first surfaced this spring, Tom Hanks was reported to be in negotiations to play McAlary next year on stage.

No new timetable has been revealed or whether Hanks or potential director George C. Wolfe were still attached to the project.

Ephron, who died Tuesday in New York City at age 71, gained recognition as the writer of films such as “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” which starred Hanks. She made her playwriting debut in 2002 with “Imaginary Friends” and co-wrote 2008’s off-Broadway play adopted from the book “Love, Loss, and What I Wore.”

Callender is the former head of HBO Films, who oversaw such acclaimed mini-series and original movies as “John Adams,” “The Pacific,” “Empire Falls” and “Recount.” In 2010, Callender formed his own Beverly Hills-based film, television and theater production company, Playground Entertainment.

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