Jackman and Paice are on Producers' Wish List for New "Gone With the Wind" Musical

News   Jackman and Paice are on Producers' Wish List for New "Gone With the Wind" Musical
Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman and current Curtains star Jill Paice are high on the list of producers to play, respectively, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara in a new musical version of "Gone With the Wind."

Fox News reports that an unnamed group of producers has secured the rights for the sprawling southern epic from the Margaret Mitchell estate in hopes of a 2008 production. No names attached to the project were mentioned.

The planned musical take on the story — made famous by the 1939 film starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh — is purportedly using the original novel as a source moreso than the movie. "If you remember, Scarlett is really left with the slaves, and they become her family," a production insider told the media outlet. "That will be more of the emphasis of the story, with Rhett more of a darker, more complicated character."

Jackman and Paice are among the stars the producers are seeking. The show hopes to debut in London's West End prior to a possible Broadway run.

Jackman earned a Tony Award for his turn in the Broadway musical The Boy From Oz. He is also known for his film roles in the "X-Men" trilogy and "Someone Like You," "Swordfish," "Kate and Leopold," "Van Helsing" and the recent "The Fountain" and "Happy Feet" (in voice). His stage credits also include Trevor Nunn's staging of Oklahoma! at Britian's National Theatre and award-winning work in productions of Sunset Boulevard and Beauty and the Beast in his homeland.

Paice will be seen in the John Kander, Fred Ebb and Rupert Holmes musical Curtains, which begins Broadway previews Feb. 27. She last appeared on the New York stage in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White reprising her turn from the West End world premiere. Other credits include Night of 1000 Voices, The Gig, Weird Romance and the Las Vegas Mamma Mia as well as touring runs of Les Misérables and Gypsy. "Gone With the Wind" is the focus of the recent Ron Hutchinson behind-the-scenes drama Moonlight and Magnolias. More current is Joan Ross Sorkin's (mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story which centers around the film's Academy Award-winning star. The film's original release is also a central event in Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo. A musical version of Gone With the Wind by Harold Rome played London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1972.

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