Gay Chicago producers move on to new musicals

BY Advocate.com Editors

March 29 2003 1:00 AM ET

FoxNews.com's Roger Friedman reports that openly gay Oscar-winner Marty Richards (Chicago) has set his sights on bringing another stage musical to the screen. Grand Hotel, which Richards produced on the stage in 1989, is his next planned feature film, although he plans to jettison the show's traditional Broadway score and update the piece with hip-hop music. Grand Hotel was originally a 1932 production that has the distinction of being the only film to win Best Picture while receiving no other Oscar nominations.

Also turning an old movie into a new musical, while ignoring the intervening stage version, are Chicago's out executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Variety reports that the duo are planning a movie musical based on the 1984 hit Footloose. The new film version would have no resemblance to the Broadway Footloose, which opened in 1998. "This is going to have a more experimental feel and will be closer in tone to Moulin Rouge than Chicago," said Zadan, who earned his first film-producing credit on the original Footloose. "We'll use the same premise but write a new script that will use new film techniques to make a dynamic musical. We want to bring aboard as director of photography James Chressanthis, who worked on our Judy Garland movie [Me and My Shadows: Life With Judy Garland] and has researched the latest cinematic technology. We'll find a young cast that sings and dances, and the original songs will have brand-new arrangements that will make them more appropriate for a contemporary audience."

Zadan and Meron had previously committed to remake Guys and Dolls for Miramax.

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