Gary Susman
January 06, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

If you didn’t snag tickets to Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick’s brief, sold-out return to ”The Producers” on Broadway, don’t worry. You’ll still get to see them in the roles they created in Mel Brooks’ musical — on the big screen. Variety reports that ”The Producers” has come full circle, with Universal snapping up the film rights and signing Lane and Broderick — as well as much of the team behind the Broadway hit — with an eye toward a late 2005 release.

The story of Broadway huckster Max Bialystock and nervous accountant Leo Bloom started out, of course, as a movie, written and directed by Brooks in 1967 and starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder in non-musical incarnations of the roles that would later go to Lane and Broderick. Nearly four decades later, Brooks and Thomas Meehan adapted the stage version, which won every available Tony and set box office records on Broadway in 2001. They’ll also write the screenplay, with Brooks producing. Susan Stroman, who directed the stage production, will also helm the film version.

”Producers” isn’t the first movie to circle to Broadway and return to the screen as a musical. The 1960 horror cheapie ”Little Shop of Horrors” did the same thing (and it’s back on Broadway now). And of course, George Bernard Shaw’s ”Pygmalion” was a straight play, then a movie, then a Broadway musical — as ”My Fair Lady” — and then a movie musical.

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