We usually don’t cover Broadway news, but when you have Tony-winner Hugh Jackman and Oscar-and-Emmy-winner Aaron Sorkin teaming up for an original musical, it’s worth attention. Back in November 2010, we reported that Jackman was attached to the musical biopic Houdini and Sorkin was writing the book (the plot and dialogue of a musical). The production has now sent out a press release announcing that the show will premiere in 2013/2014. Jackman recently finished his two month run on Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway, which played to sold-out audiences. He’s also about to begin filming on the movie musical adaptation of Les Miserables.
Hit the jump for more on the production and Sorkin’s approach to Harry Houdini‘s story.
Director Kevin Lima, whose previous credits include Tarzan and 101 Dalmatians as well as the live-action fantasy Enchanted, has been tapped by DreamWorks Animation to helm their first Bollywood-style musical adventure Monkeys of Mumbai. Heat Vision reports that the plot is based on the Indian epic “Ramayana” which centers on a man who must rescue his wife from a demon king.
DreamWorks has assembled a top-notch behind-the-scenes team to do Bollywood right, with Slumdog Millionaire composer A.R. Rahman working on the music alongside Stephen Schwartz (Broadway’s Wicked) who is penning the lyrics. In addition, Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges (Bend it Like Beckham) are writing the screenplay. I was charmed by Lima’s tongue-in-cheek Disney princess tale Enchanted, and DreamWorks seems to be going all-out to ensure that Monkeys of Mumbai is not to be missed.
In her spare time, Disney animator Heidi Jo Gilbert put together a sensational animated storyboard to pitch her studio and composer Stephen Schwartz on an animated adaptation of the Broadway musical Wicked. For those unfamiliar with the musical, it’s based on the book by Gregory Maguire and takes a look at The Wizard of Oz from the Wicked Witch’s perspective.
Gilbert took arguably the musical’s best number, “Defying Gravity”, and transformed it into what could have been a rousing animated sequence. Unfortunately for Ms. Gilbert and for all of us, I believe that Universal currently holds the screen rights to Wicked (as the project languishes in development hell looking for a director). Hit the jump to defy gravity in animated form.
The creative minds of the wildly successful Broadway show Wicked — producer Marc Platt, playwright Winnie Holzman, and songwriter Stephen Schwartz — have been meeting with some of Hollywood’s premier musical directors… and J.J. Abrams. The play, itself an adaptation of the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from L. Frank Baum’s classic Wizard of Oz and casts the emerald-skinned enchantress in a far more heroic light than the original story.
While Abrams’ composition of the 17-second opening theme to LOST may not qualify him as a musical director, the other candidates (James Mangold, Ryan Murphy, and Rob Marshall) have much stronger resumes. Mangold provided deft directing to Walk the Line, Murphy created Glee (but also Nip/Tuck), and Marshall was behind the camera for Chicago, the film often cited (along with Moulin Rouge!) for bringing musicals back into Hollywood’s good graces. For more, hit the jump.