EXCLUSIVE: Disney has tapped Alex Timbers to direct an untitled musical film that is being billed as a contemporary adaptation of a Shakespeare play. The feature, written by Amy Talkington, will be produced by Offspring Entertainment‘s Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot, with Jon Chu and Offspring’s Matt Smith executive producing. Talkington wrote the original first draft and will continue working on the script with Timbers, a two-time Tony nominee whose helming credits include the Broadway musicals Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Pee-Wee Herman Show, as well as Disney’s stage play Peter And The Starcatcher.
The idea for the musical originated from a friendship between Smith and Talkington, who are working together on the MGM remake of Valley Girl. Offspring set up the pitch with Disney execs Kristin Burr and Tonia Davis.
“The script stretches the boundaries of the movie musical and demands the sort of surprising visuals and raucous spectacle I love to create in my own stage musicals”, Timbers said.
Among Timbers’ upcoming projects is his original musical adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost in July, the first new Bard tuner to bow at Shakespeare in the Park since 1971. He is also developing a feature adaptation of Dale Basye’s young adult novel Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go for MGM from a screenplay by David Iserson and Chris Weitz, and he is developing an original feature pitch that MRC is financing. Timbers is repped by WME, Caliber Media and attorney Dave Feldman.