The dark comedy originally starred Robert De Niro as an aspiring and desperate stand-up comedian who stalks and kidnaps a talk show host, played by Jerry Lewis.

The film was a flop at the box office, but later became a cult classic - and now bosses at New Regency production company have recruited Hedwig and the Angry Inch composer and lyricist Stephen Trask and Rock of Ages book writer Chris D'Arienzo for a planned stage show.

Trask shared his enthusiasm for the project in a statement which reads: "I saw King of Comedy in film class at (university) Wesleyan and I still can’t get it out of my head. To get asked by New Regency, one of the most consequential film companies ever, to make a musical with my friend Chris D'Arienzo, out of what might be the greatest movie ever, is one of the most exciting opportunities to come my way.

"And we didn’t have to kidnap anybody to make it happen."