“M. Butterfly,” the play about a French diplomat who has a lengthy affair with a Chinese opera singer, will be revived on Broadway this fall with Clive Owen starring and Julie Taymor directing. The drama, inspired by a true story, won the Tony Award for best new play in 1988, when it starred John Lithgow and B.
D. Wong (who won a Tony). The playwright David Henry Hwang is making significant revisions to the script for the revival, incorporating recent discoveries about the relationship between Bernard Boursicot, who was an embassy worker, and Shi Pei Pu, a man whom Mr.
Boursicot had believed for years to be a woman. The two were convicted of espionage in 1986. They were pardoned a year later.
Mr. Owen, a British actor (“Closer”) will play the diplomat, named Rene Gallimard in the play. The play will be his second on Broadway — he made his Broadway debut in a 2015 revival of “Old Times,” by Harold Pinter.
The role of the singer, named Song Liling in the play, has not yet been cast. The revival will mark Ms. Taymor’s first return to Broadway since “ : Turn Off the Dark,” a troubled production from which she was dismissed.
She is best known as the creative genius behind the stage adaptation of “The Lion King,” for which she won two Tony Awards in 1998, for direction and costume design, and which is still going strong on Broadway and in productions around the world. Her most recent Off Broadway productions, including “Grounded” at the Public Theater and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Theater for a New Audience, won significant critical praise. The “M.
Butterfly” revival, produced by Nelle Nugent, Steve Traxler, Kenneth Teaton, Benjamin Feldman and Doug Morris, the chief executive of Sony Music, is scheduled to open on Oct. 26 at an unspecified theater..