EXCLUSIVE: Walt Disney Pictures is now in business with Moonlight Oscar-winning writer Tarell Alvin McCraney to script a musical idea for David Oyelowo to star. Details are under wraps on what is being titled Cyrano the Moor, but we know it’s some kind of musical mash up of two classic stories — Cyrano de Bergerac and Othello — and will be set in the Bristol region of England during the 19th century.
So that means that the script will take inspiration from the two classics, one written by Edmond Rostand and the other by William Shakespeare. Cyrano de Bergerac is a comedy about a man of many talents — poet and musician — who has a very large nose and because of that has no confidence. He becomes a kind of a ghostwriter for a handsome man with no writing or verbal ability to woo the beautiful Roxane (whom de Bergerac is secretly in love with). Eventually, all is found out. Othello is tragedy about a Moorish general whose life is basically torn asunder by the jealous and Machiavellian Iago which leads Othello to murder his own beloved wife.
Interestingly, Oyelowo recently received critical acclaim for his performance as Othello opposite Daniel Craig earlier this year in the Sam Gold directed and Barbara Broccoli produced play. Othello had a limited off-Broadway run at the New York Theatre Workshop in New York.
The live-action musical Cyrano the Moor is planned to be as lavish a show as Disney classics Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. The idea was originally conceived awhile ago by former CAA agent Jon Levin in one of the Oyelowo team development meetings. Disney then bought the idea and hired McCraney to write it. The producers will be Yoruba Saxon (A United Kingdom, Nightingale) with David Oyelowo and Jessica Oyelowo. Tendo Nagenda and Chaz Salembier are overseeing for Disney.
McCraney is repped by CAA and Manage-ment. Oyelowo is repped by CAA and Inphenate.