The Hollywood star will lead the cast of Lucky Guy, portraying the New York Daily News columnist who covered some of the biggest crimes and police corruption scandals in the 1980s and '90s.
McAlary died from colon cancer in 1998, aged 41.
When Harry Met Sally screenwriter Nora Ephron penned the script, which will be directed by George C. Wolfe. Rehearsals are expected to begin in January (13), reports the New York Times.
Hanks has not acted on stage since 1979, when he appeared in a New York production of The Mandrake.