Tony Winners Shaiman and Wittman Will Write Songs for New Toy-Based Movie Musical

News   Tony Winners Shaiman and Wittman Will Write Songs for New Toy-Based Movie Musical A live-action Universal movie musical inspired by a future product from Mattel — the toy company that has Barbie, American Girl and Hot Wheels in its toy trunk — will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the men behind TV musicals "Annie" and "Cinderella" and Hollywood's "Chicago" and "Hairspray."
Marc Shaiman
Marc Shaiman Photo by Aubrey Reuben

According to Variety, Zadan and Meron will again work with "Hairspray" songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who would write an original score for the picture. A screenwriter has not been named. Shaiman and Wittman are Tony Award winners for their Broadway score of Hairspray and have penned songs for the new Broadway-bound musical Catch Me If You Can. The property that Mattel is launching has not been made public, but will reportedly "add a fresh twist to monster lore," Variety reported.

Zadan told Playbill.com, "It is unique, clever, and lends itself to a four-quadrant family movie musical with, in success, sequels, and later, a Broadway musical and even a television series down the road."

"This is a new step for us — a real opportunity to launch a new intellectual property on multiple platforms," Tim Kilpin, general manager for Mattel Brands' Girls, Boys & Games Group, said. "It has a broad family appeal and the ability to translate as a musical, (in) publishing and (to) other venues."

Zadan told the trade paper, "Neil and I have been looking for an original movie musical franchise for several years, and we feel this one is it. It really has long-term potential, and it will spin the monster genre on its ear."

Zadan and Meron were executive producers of "Chicago," and are producing a new film of "Footloose."