Warner Bros. Pictures picks up rights to Rent
The long road for the gay-inclusive musical Rent from Broadway to the big screen continues as Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired feature film rights to Jonathan Larson's stage piece, according to Variety. Miramax, which had previously announced intentions to make a film version with director Spike Lee, maintains rights of first refusal for cofinancing and distribution. (Miramax would have the option to distribute the film overseas while Warner keeps domestic rights.) Warner's current plans would have Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Mrs. Doubtfire) write and direct. Loosely based on La Bohème, Rent tells the story of a group of artists of various ethnicities, sexual orientations, and HIV statuses and their quest for love and fulfillment in contemporary New York City.