Brokeback Mountain is to be adapted for the stage, it has been announced. Producer Tom O'Connell confirmed that he has acquired the stage rights to the short story by Annie Proulx, which was turned into an Oscar-winning film in 2005.
Taking to Twitter, O' Connell, who is behind Ghost Stories, the Hairspray UK tour and the recent adaptation of The King's Speech, said he was excited to bring the story to new audiences. "I am developing a brand new stage PLAY of @brokebackplay a story that deserves to be heard/live on," he told his followers.
He added in a statement: "I've been extremely lucky in my career to produce plays which challenge, inspire and educate as much as they entertain; the struggles that the characters of Brokeback Mountain go through are still present in the world today, making the piece as relevant as ever."
The film which starred Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, and directed by Ang Lee told the story of two sheep herders who spend many months at a time living alone on Brokeback Mountain and develop feelings for each other. The incredible tale of a forbidden love between two cowboys was set in the 1960s.
Proulx said: "I am looking forward with sharp anticipation to the stage interpretation of the star- crossed lovers of Brokeback Mountain who moved from the page to the screen and now, under the skilled hand of producer Tom O'Connell and the sensibilities of the company, to the stage — a strange journey for two messed-up wannabe cow-hands from Wyoming."
The critically acclaimed author added: "The actors who pull on their scuffed-up boots will step into a difficult time in a hard place."
The stage show is expected to launch in London in 2016.