Damn Yankees Movie on Track as Next Miramax Cinematic Musical

News   Damn Yankees Movie on Track as Next Miramax Cinematic Musical
The team behind "Chicago" — Miramax Films and Storyline Entertainment's Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — are moving ahead with their plan to adapt the musical Damn Yankees for the big screen, Entertainment Weekly reported.
A scene from the Broadway revival of Damn Yankees
A scene from the Broadway revival of Damn Yankees Photo by Carol Rosegg

Zadan told the publication that Yankees will be the next Miramax-produced musical to hit the screens. The film will be "contemporary, hip and funny," he said. "It will be a whole new kind of musical." Playbill On-Line previously reported that Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein has secured the rights to the musical and has signed executive producers Zadan and Meron to produce. "I see us updating Damn Yankees, modernizing it, and really having fun with the role of the devil," said Weinstein in a released statement.

Peter Tolan and Mike Martineau have been hired to pen the screenplay.

The musical — featuring a book by Douglass Wallop and George Abbott; lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross; and music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross — follows the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil to join the Washington Senators baseball team in an attempt to defeat the Bronx Bombers.

The original Broadway production opened May 5, 1955 at the 46th Street Theatre (now the Richard Rodgers Theatre) starring Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston. Bob Fosse (Chicago) choreographed. At the Tony Awards that year, Damn Yankees took home the top prize as Best Musical as well as for its stars and choreographer.

Verdon, Walston and much of the original cast reprised their stage roles in the 1958 screen adaptation of the musical

The musical was brought back to life on Broadway in a 1994 revival at the Marquis Theatre starring Bebe Neuwirth and Victor Garber. Rob Marshall ("Chicago") choreographed.

Zadan and Meron's Storyline Entertainment were also reportedly readying Guys and Dolls for Miramax. The Frank Loesser musical will take a backseat to Damn Yankees.

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