Why we can't wait to see ''The Producers''
RELEASE DATE Dec. 16, limited; Jan. 13, wide
WHY WE CAN'T WAIT Pretty much the whole gang behind the Tony-grabbing Broadway smash is back for the big-screen version, including the hilarious, electric pairing of Nathan Lane (center) and Matthew Broderick (left).
THE PREMISE Lane and Broderick cook up a scheme to cadge a fortune by getting investors to back a surefire Broadway flop. Unfortunately, their show Springtime for Hitler becomes a campy hit.
SOURCE Mel Brooks' 2001 Broadway musical, based in turn on his 1968 film with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder
THE BACK STORY Despite the death of his wife, Anne Bancroft, in June, Brooks remained a gag-generating machine on the set. ''Many times I'd say, 'Mel, we need one more joke here,''' says director Susan Stroman. ''Takes him about 30 seconds: out of his mouth and into the movie.''
BURNING QUESTION Can lightning strike twice? (Or is it three times?)
COME FOR Bialystock and Bloom er, Lane and Broderick
STAY FOR Scene-swiping supporting actors Will Ferrell (right), as the pigeon-loving playwright, and Uma Thurman, as B&B's bombshell Scandinavian secretary