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Monday, 11 November 2013 14:38

Disney Theatrical Productions to Develop THE PRINCESS BRIDE for the Stage



New Stage Work to Be Based on William Goldman’s Acclaimed Novel and the Beloved 1987 Film

New York - Monday, November 11, 2013 Disney Theatrical Productions will develop The Princess Bride as a stage work, it was announced today by Disney Theatrical Productions president and producer, Thomas Schumacher.

The novel The Princess Bride, penned in 1973 by two-time Academy Award® winning author William Goldman, was adapted for its motion picture release in 1987 and quickly established itself a romantic comedy classic.  The new theatrical work will be based on both his acclaimed novel and his screenplay, which garnered a nomination for the WGA (Writers Guild of America) Award and a ranking on that organization’s list of 101 Best Films of All Times. Norman Lear served as the film’s executive producer.

The new deal, shepherded by Alan Horn, who was closely involved with the film during his tenure at Castle Rock, allows Disney Theatrical Productions to begin the title’s development process for the stage.  The creative team and development timetable for the project have yet to be determined.  

“My involvement in The Princess Bride goes back to 1987 and it has always been close to my heart. For all those years and a few more, I’ve been friends with the brilliant Bill Goldman, and to now have a stage production of this film in development at Disney is honestly a dream come true. It couldn’t be in better hands than those of the experienced Disney Theatrical team led by Tom Schumacher,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. 

The Princess Bride has proven to be an enduring delight and a beloved favorite to multiple generations,” said Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer Disney Theatrical Productions. “What William Goldman created is first and foremost a celebration of storytelling; what better place to spin that tale than on the stage?”

“I am thrilled that the next chapter in the life of The Princess Bride will unfold on the stage.  With Alan Horn, Thomas Schumacher and his team at Disney Theatrical Productions leading the way, Buttercup, Westley and all of Florin are in the best of hands,” said author, William Goldman.

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DISNEY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS, a division of The Walt Disney Studios, was formed in 1994 and operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.  Worldwide, its eight Broadway titles have been seen by over 128 million theatergoers and have grossed over $9 billion.  With 15 productions currently produced or licensed, a Disney musical is being performed professionally somewhere on the planet virtually every hour of the day. 

The company’s inaugural production, Beauty and the Beast, opened in 1994. Itplayed a remarkable 13 year run on Broadway and has been produced in 28 countries worldwide. In November 1997, Disney opened The Lion King, which received six 1998 Tony® Awards including Best Musical and is now the highest grossing show in Broadway history.  The show continues in its 16th smash year, having welcomed over 70 million visitors worldwide.  The Lion King can also currently be seen on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan, and in London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, and Sao Paulo.  When the show opens in Sydney, Australia in December 2013, there will be ten concurrent productions of The Lion King playing worldwide.

Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida opened on Broadway next, winning four 2000 Tony Awards, and spawning productions around the world.  Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, opened in London in 2004 and established itself as one of the biggest stage musical successes to emerge in recent years. The Tony Award-winning Broadway production played more than six years at Disney’s New Amsterdam Theatre and recently concluded a successful tour of North America.  Mary Poppins can currently be seen in Mexico City and is now being licensed to North American professional theatres.

Tarzan®, which opened on Broadway in 2006, is now an international hit with an award-winning production in its 6th year in Germany.  In January 2008, The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway and was the #1-selling new musical of that year.  Its success continues with new productions in Russia and Japan.

Two new critically acclaimed productions opened on Broadway in 2012, receiving seven Tony Awards between them: Newsies, in its second year at the Nederlander Theatre, and Peter and the Starcatcher, now playing at New World Stages.

Other successful stage musical ventures have included King David in concert, the national tour of On The Record, several touring versions of Disney’s High School Musical, and Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin.

In addition, DTP licenses stage performance rights to more than a dozen Disney musicals around the world through Music Theatre International.

Its new musical, Aladdin, will open in Toronto in fall 2013.