Amid all that, I came across one particular director, and my eyes happened on his "in development" listing, which tended to be something I skipped past, looking only for what they'd already done. And besides, "in development" can mean months away...or never. But for whatever reason, I happened to catch notice of something which leaped out. It was for a director named Vadim Jean and called the "Lionel Bart project," going by the title at the moment, Consider Yourself.
Now, of course, as I said, that doesn't mean it will ever get made, but it certainly was intriguing, and not a horrible idea since -- though Bart didn't have a lot of projects that were successful, he had a pretty rollercoaster rags-to-riches-to-rags life. And needless to say when he was successful with Oliver!, that's about as big a success as one can get. (Also, though they weren't known in the U.S., he did have much more success than just Oliver! in England. Among many other things, his first musical which I did a piece on here, Lock Up Your Daughters, and lyrics for the theme of the James Bond film, To Russia, With Love ).
Anyway, I didn't give it more thought than that, since it was just an "in development" thingee. But I did mention it later to my friend Shelly Goldstein -- which got me to figuring I should give her more information than just that. So, I went back and searched out the info from my notes. And found out that it might well be much more along than I presumed. It's being developed for The Mob Company -- as well as BBC Films. And more importantly, the actually appear to have an actor attached. And if this does hold true...it's tremendous casting. Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush! Not only is he someone who can easily pull off a performance as Lionel Bart (from what I've seen and know of Bart), but they don't look terribly dissimilar either.
And hey, as long as we're talking about the life of Lionel Bart and other things he's done besides Oliver!, here's one of the first, when he was writing hit songs for a young rock star named Tommy Steele. This is a rhythm-and-blues number from the 1957 movie, The Tommy Steele Story, written with Mike Pratt and Steele, called "Butterfingers."