In 2010, the NY Post was up in arms over the possibility of Wolverine playing Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and columnist Mike McAlary on Broadway—while Hugh Jackman may possess "the most intense swishing" ever seen on the Great White Way, they scoffed at the notion of him being able to play a heavy-drinking man with hair on his chest. But it seems the play has traded up—the Post reports that Tom Hanks is now in negotiations to make his Broadway debut in 2013 by playing McAlary in a new play by Nora Ephron.
Hanks’s publicist confirmed the report to the NY Times that Hanks was in talks for “Lucky Guy,” which will open in January for a limited run at a Shubert theater. McAlary died of colon cancer at the age of 41 in 1998, and the play will tackle a major high and low point from his career—his Pulitzer-winning coverage of the 1997 Abner Louima attack, and a libel suit against him after he accused a woman of making up a rape charge to promote a feminist rally.
McAlary, who covered most of the major crime stories around the city in the '80s and '90s for the Post and Daily News, was known to occasionally embellish quotes for dramatic effect. Michael Riedel offers this anecdote about him:
McAlary was on a plane to Israel when the first Scud missile fell on Tel Aviv during the first Gulf war. After the plane landed, he filed a column saying that, when the captain announced the missile attack, "the passengers fell to their knees in prayer."
When an editor pointed out that Jews don't pray on their knees, Cotter, the Post metro editor, snapped: "I don't care about 5,000 years of tradition. If McAlary says it happened, then it happened."
But when McAlary called in from his hotel room and was asked about it, he hesitated and said: "Actually, I was sitting in first-class and they told me that everybody in the back of the plane was praying. So I assumed they were on their knees. You'd better change it."