Following the phenomenal success of ‘The Greatest Showman’ (it’s still in the top ten in its tenth week and has made $160.7M domestically), Fox 2000 is looking forward to its next splashy musical and it seems that they’ve found it. Their next big musical is based on the life and works of Hans Christian Anderson, author of children’s classics like ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘The Snow Queen’, ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘Thumbelina’. In the film, Anderson finds himself transported into these worlds of his own making.
The script has been provided by ‘Mary Poppins’ Return’‘s David Magee. Fox has already lined up a dream team including ‘Wicked’ composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz and ‘Chicago’ producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are currently working with John Legend on the television musical event ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.
Fox is eyeing Ansel Elgort for the lead. Elgort starred in the music-heavy Edgar Wright heist movie ‘Baby Driver’ last year, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. He is also recognizable for the ‘Divergent’ series and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. He was one of the young actors who auditioned to play young Han Solo. He has several movies coming up, including the science fiction drama ‘Jonathan’. He is rumored to be attached to ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ which just landed Chris McKay as director. Elgort also works as a musician and DJ/remixer under the name Ansølo. He has opened for The Chainsmokers and NERVO and has headlined his own shows.
In 1952, Danny Kaye starred in the musical film ‘Hans Christian Anderson’ and of course Anderson’s works have been adapted hundreds of times in different formats. Perhaps most recently and notably, his story ‘The Snow Queen’ served as the foundation for Disney’s phenomenon ‘Frozen’, although it was significantly altered. (‘The Snow Queen’ was the villain of her story.)
‘The Greatest Showman’ is nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, which will be announced this weekend.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter