Way back in 2003, with the recent success of Chicago still on their minds, Harvey and Bob Weinstein bought up the rights to fellow musical Pippin with the intent of turning it into a similar cinematic experience. In the tumultuous years for the Weinsteins and their former company that have passed since, the idea fell by the wayside. Now, thanks partly to a Tony-winning revival on Broadway this year, it’s back on.
The Weinstein Company is partnering with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, with whom they worked on Chicago. The producing pair have also recently worked on the Oscars and brought a live version of The Sound Of Music to US TV last week.
Pippin, written by Roger O. Hirson with music and lyrics by Wicked’s Stephen Schwartz (and based on his student production), originally hit the stage in 1972 with Bob Fosse directing. And no, it's nothing to do with him out of The Lord Of The Rings.
Our hero, Pippin, and his father, Charlemagne, are characters derived from two real-life individuals of the early Middle Ages, though the plot mostly eschews historical accuracy for creative licence. We follow Pippin’s search for a place in the world of kings, lords and one very enthusiastic group of travelling performers.
James Ponsoldt, who most recently wrote and directed The Spectacular Now, is set to write the script, but no director has been announced yet.