With a string of successful musicals on stages around the world based upon its brands, the Walt Disney Company is always looking for new stories it can turn into legitimate theatre. The latest movie to get the theatrical eyeball is The Princess Bride, which is now in the early stages of a trip to the boards.
The classic 1987 twisted fairytale, directed by Rob Reiner and adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 book, is a beloved, endlessly quotable film that remains one of the best takes on fantasy tales in cinema. Disney Theatrical Productions has made the announcement that it will work with Goldman to craft the stage version, though no decision has yet been made as to whether it’ll be a musical or a play (the latter seems more likely given Disney’s history).
“My involvement in The Princess Bride goes back to 1987 and it has always been close to my heart," says Disney boss Alan Horn. "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."
Having Goldman on board is crucial not only for credibility, but also to avoid the thorny issues that plagued a previous, independent attempt to tune up the tale, with composter Adam Guettel working alongside Goldman in a 2007 attempt that ended in financial dispute.
Disney’s Lion King show has just pushed past the $1 billion box office total on Broadway, and it has Aladdin waiting in the wings to be the next attempt, so it seems certain that Westley, Vizzini, Inigo, Buttercup and the rest will be headed to Broadway and beyond.