The secret romance between Hollywood’s 1950s stars Tab Hunter and Athony Perkins is being given the film treatment by producers JJ Abrams and Zachary Quinto for Paramount, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Tab & Tony will be based on Hunter’s 2005 memoir, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, which shed light on how the actor rose above his boy-next-door image and came to terms with his sexuality. It also revealed details of his romantic relationships with men, including Perkins. The book inspired a 2015 documentary of the same name, directed by Jeffrey Schwarz.
Tab & Tony is being scripted by Doug Wright, who won the Pulitzer Prize for the Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife. A director and actors for the film are yet to be finalised. Allan Gasler, Hunter’s longtime partner, is co-producing the film.
Hunter was one of Hollywood’s leading actors in the 1950s and ‘60s, a time when homosexuality was so taboo that it could be career-ending for stars. In his memoir, he details how studios aggressively pushed his heterosexual image by manufacturing romantic relationships for him with leading actresses of the time, including Debbie Reynolds and Natalie Wood.
“[Life] was difficult for me, because I was living two lives at that time,” Hunter wrote. “A private life of my own, which I never discussed, never talked about to anyone. And then my Hollywood life, which was just trying to learn my craft and succeed.”
Perkins was best known for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). The two met in 1956 and were in a three-year relationship. Perkins married actress and model Berry Berenson in 1973. He died of Aids in 1992.