'Prairie Home' movie: Where timing is slow

Associated Press

ST. PAUL -- Fall is turning to winter, which means it may be time for Garrison Keillor to update his screenplay for a movie version of his "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show.

If financing comes together, filming could take place this winter with an above-average cast and with veteran director Robert Altman ("M-A-S-H," "The Player," "Nashville") at the helm.

But Keillor recently told the Associated Press that he didn't know when shooting would begin.

"I keep rewriting the screenplay to suit a different season. It was going to be shot in the fall, and then the plan was to shoot it in January, so I've had to write winter into it, and now I may have to go back and make it into a kind of a spring story," Keillor said.


Financing for the movie is still being worked out.

"We are getting the financial pieces in place. Sometimes the partners come, and sometimes the partners go, and you hope it all comes together," Tony Judge, who is coordinating production of the film, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The plan is for shooting to take place at The Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul, the popular public radio show's home.

"We are holding January and February for the film," Brian Sanderson, general manager of the Fitzgerald, told the newspaper. "We're crossing our fingers and hoping it goes forward."

The movie would take place as the radio show is being performed, and would include both onstage performances and behind-the-scenes action.

Judge said negotiations are ongoing with Tom Waits and Lyle Lovett (who are expected to play singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty), Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin and other potential cast members, but none of those actors can be signed until there's a definite start date.

Keillor told the AP he was surprised to read about rumors that George Clooney might sign on to play radio detective Guy Noir. The humorist also said he apparently would play himself in the movie.

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