“Go, Go, Go Joseph!” While announcing their upcoming slate at CinemaCon, STX Entertainment dropped the news the distributor will be collaborating with Elton John, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in developing an animated musical adaptation of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The film – conceived as a family friendly feature – will reportedly also feature new songs from Webber and Rice; both of whom penned the original operetta back in 1965.
John will produce the feature through his Rocket Pictures banner, which is currently at work on the animated feature Sherlock Gnomes (set to feature the voice cast of Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt and James McAvoy; a follow-up of sorts to Gnomeo and Juliet.) Webber’s The Really Useful Group will produce as well. STX International president David Kosse commented on the feature, “Originally written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice as a pop cantata for students in London in 1968, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was expanded into a concept album and subsequently a globally successful theatrical stage phenomenon. Joseph has become one of the most enduring, irresistible and beloved family musicals of all time. We could not be more honored or excited to be partnering with Andrew, Tim and Elton, legends of music, stage and screen, on this animated telling of this timeless story.”
The story is based on the biblical tale of Joseph, favored son of Jacob, who upon being enslaved due to his envious siblings, gains favor with the Pharaoh due his unique ability to interpret dreams.
The trajectory of the musical began as a cantata in the late 1960s before morphing into a popular concept album. After Webber and Rice saw stage success with their hit musical Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph was brought to life on stage and finally made its Broadway debut in 1982 (earning six Tony Awards for the original production). Since, then the show has been a mainstay in repertory companies and revivals.
Of note, John, Webber and Rice all earned Oscars for original songs – John and Rice for penning the seminal “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King, Webber and Rice picked up a statue for the original song “You Must Love Me” from Evita (another of their successful stage transfers); Rice earned a third Oscar for co-writing “A Friend Like Me” alongside Alan Menkin for Disney’s Aladdin.
It appears no director, writers or voice actors have yet signed on to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Stay tuned.