EXCLUSIVE: Eurythmics co-creator and record producer Dave Stewart is moving forward on Zombie Broadway, a feature adaptation of his 2008 Virgin Comics graphic novel about an undead uprising on the Great White Way. Along with The Butler producers Pam Williams and David Jacobson, Stewart has tapped Cole Haddon (NBC’s Dracula) to script and Spun helmer Jonas Akerlund to direct the horror musical in which a group of Broadway performers battle zombies with the power of showtunes. Start-up financing firm First Artist Ventures secured early development financing for the project and producers are taking the script to financiers and talent with the aim of filming in 2015.
Stewart created the original Zombie Broadway graphic novel with David Harris and Christine Schenley. He’ll executive produce the musical, described as The Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Bullets Over Broadway, and has already written the music with Michael Bradford. During his three-decade career the Grammy-nominated Stewart wrote and produced hits like “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” and “Here Comes the Rain Again” with Eurythmics partner Annie Lennox, and produced for the likes of Bono, Bryan Ferry, Gwen Stefani, Tom Petty, Katy Perry, Mick Jagger, and Sinead O’Connor.
“My world revolves around music and film,” said Stewart. “I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of film married with a story and music. Jonas [Akerlund] has shot loads of music videos, but one of the first ones that caught my attention was ‘Smack My Bitch Up.’ I was not let down when I met him, not only with his wild imagination but his ability to execute his ideas under massive duress of time and budget.”
It’s not Stewart’s first time blending the worlds of film, music, and Broadway; he wrote a 2004 stage musical adaptation of Barbarella and penned the music and lyrics for Ghost: The Musical with Glen Ballard. His film scores include Showgirls and Beautiful Girls, and he shared a Golden Globe for Best Original Song with Mick Jagger for their song from 2004’s Alfie. Zombie Broadway will lead a slate of music, film and TV projects that Stewart has been developing through his Dave Stewart Entertainment media company.
Akerlund (Spun, Horsemen, Small Apartments) is a three-time Grammy winner for his music video work with Paul McCartney and Madonna. He recently directed HBO’s On the Run Tour: Beyonce and Jay Z concert docu and is attached to direct Spring Breakers 2 for Wild Bunch. Haddon is repped by WME and Anonymous Content.