After the success of their filmed version of the Broadway Musical Hamilton, Disney has grabbed the rights to another popular Broadway Musical: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The original musical from 2005 follows six children competing for their ultimate prize: winning the local spelling bee. It is a fun musical that helped propel such actors as Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family). Fogler even winning a Tony for his performance as William Barfée.
Disney’s adaptation will most likely be looking for children to fill these roles, while the Broadway musical had the flexibility of putting adults in the role of these children, as well as double casting some actors as the parents of the other competitors.
In addition, the musical itself has a lot of moments of audience interaction, and it is incredibly unlikely Disney will go that route. Though YouTube has led the charge for people making their way on social media, it is still unlikely Disney would do an interactive type of experience with this adaptation.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is one of the most popular contemporary Broadway Musicals, now a main stage in local and high school theaters, and it is exciting that a film adaptation is finally underway. There is no set production date as of yet. Disney is currently looking for a filmmaker to helm this piece.