Andrew Lloyd Webber Hopeful for Film of Sunset Boulevard and American Premiere of Love Never Dies
By Adam Hetrick
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose new musical Stephen Ward is preparing for a London world-premiere, is still hopeful for a film adaptation of his musical Sunset Boulevard and an American premiere of Love Never Dies.
In a BBC2 Radio Interview with Olivier Award winner Elaine Paige (Evita, Cats, Sunset Boulevard, Follies), Lloyd Webber stated, "I would love a film to be a made of Sunset of course. But, unfortunately the rights are owned by Paramount who own the original movie. So far, talks with them have never led to anything. It's sad for me, because, I think, in many ways Sunset is, I think, the most complete musical I've ever written. I mean in a sense that the book and the music and everything come together, I think, in a way that perhaps even some of the others, they don't. That's my sadness at the moment... But I'm doing something else with Paramount, after I've done this [Stephen Ward] I'm producing School of Rock on stage and that's a Paramount Picture. So maybe if they like what I do with that, they'll let me do Sunset.
Lloyd Webber also revealed that Love Never Dies, his sequel to The Phantom of the Opera that was once announced for Broadway, may still be staged for American audiences. The musical was originally announced to premiere on Broadway in November 2010, following its March 2010 London world premiere. The troubled London production closed, and a new Australian production premiered in 2011 with a new director and designers attached.
"Love Never Dies didn't work in London," Lloyd Webber said. "The design didn't really fit the music. It was done again in Australia and the design absolutely fit the music. And the plan is now, for that production to try one more time out in Japan, and then if that works, then that production will go to America."
Priscilla Queen of the Desert director Simon Phillips helmed the Australian premiere of Love Never Dies, which played engagements in Melbourne and Sydney. It was also filmed and broadcast in cinemas. That taping is available for purchase on DVD.
Love Never Dies has a score by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tony nominee Glenn Slater (Sister Act, The Little Mermaid). The book is by Lloyd Webber, Ben Elton and Slater. Phantom lyricist Charles Hart is also credited with additional lyrics for the latest incarnation of the sequel.
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