With "American Sniper" a massive success, Warner Bros. is looking to reteam with its producer for a movie about a person with a very different skill set.
The studio is in negotiations to acquire rights to "Queen of the Air," Dean Jensen's nonfiction book about trapeze artist Lillian Leitzel, as well as a screenplay adaptation by Cat Vasko, the Los Angeles Times has confirmed.
"Sniper" producer Andrew Lazar controls the rights to Jensen's book and will produce the film adaptation. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.
Published by Crown in 2013, "Queen of the Air" follows Leitzel's emergence from humble origins to become the headlining star of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the turn of the 20th century. It also chronicles her star-crossed love affair with fellow aerialist Alfredo Codona.
Vasko is an up-and-comer whose "Situation Comedy" was included on the 2014 Black List of unproduced scripts. (That film is about a young woman who stumbles upon a mysterious courtyard that transports her to a sitcom-like universe.) Lazar also produced the recent release "Mortdecai" and teamed up with Warner Bros. on "Jonah Hex."
"Queen of the Air" would come as the latest in a long tradition of circus movies, including Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus" (1928), Disney's "Dumbo" (1941), Cecil B. DeMille's "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952) and Francis Lawrence's "Water for Elephants" (2011).
That said, it's been some time since such a movie has captured mainstream audiences' attention. "Elephants" garnered mixed reviews and was a solid but not stellar box-office performer. "Queen" will be looking for some new adventures under the big top.