According to the New York Times ArtsBeat Blog, Sony Pictures Entertainment has just inked a five-year deal with Scott Sanders, the Broadway producer behind such hits as "Evita" and "The Color Purple", to bring some of the studio's most popular films to the Broadway stage. The financial success of such musicals as "Wicked", "The Lion King", "Newsies" and this year's Tony Award winner for Best Musical, "Once" have inspired a growing trend among film studios to take on stage adaptations of films and novels.
As part of the agreement, Sony Studios has purchased a 20 percent equity stake in Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions. In anticipation of the increase in productions, Sander's company has brought in Sandy Block, who has 25 years of experience in Broadway marketing and advertising. He will take on the role of producer and vice president/theater.
First up under the Sony agreement will be a musical adaptation of the 1982 comedy "Tootsie" which starred Academy Award-winner Dustin Hoffman. The project is in the very Early Stages of development and no creative team has been named.
Disney Studios pioneered the trend of bringing some of their most beloved films to the Great White Way, including “Mary Poppins,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Beauty and the Beast." The Warner Brothers film studio will bring a musical version of “Elf” to Broadway this holiday season and Universal is behind the Broadway adaptations of their films “Billy Elliot” and “Bring It On."