EXCLUSIVE: Storyline Entertainment partners Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have signed on with The Weinstein Company to produce Pippin, the screen adaptation of the musical that recently won Best Revival of a Musical among a four-Tony Award haul. This puts Zadan and Meron back with Weinstein, with whom they most successfully teamed on Chicago, the 2002 screen adaptation that won Best Picture among six Oscars. The duo also produced the hit movie musical Hairspray.
With book by Roger O. Hirson and music & lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, Pippin originally launched in 1972 with Bob Fosse directing. It focused on the existential journey of the title character, a son of King Charlemagne trying to find his place in the Middle Ages. The Spectacular Now helmer James Ponsoldt is writing the screenplay adaptation of Pippin.
The deal comes after Zadan and Meron produced the huge ratings success The Sound Of Music on NBC, which drew 18.6 million viewers and gave the network its highest ratings in seven years, in the first live network musical broadcast since the 1950s. They followed days later when their miniseries Bonnie & Clyde became the first prime-timer to be broadcast simultaneously on a trio of networks in A&E, Lifetime and the History Channel. It also put up strong ratings.
Zadan and Meron are also returning for their second straight year as producers of the Academy Awards Oscarcast, which this time is being hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.