Report: Brooks and Meehan to Begin Work on Young Frankenstein

News   Report: Brooks and Meehan to Begin Work on Young Frankenstein
Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, the team behind The Producers, met in California last week to begin talks about their next project, a stage musical version of the Brooks film "Young Frankenstein," Theatrical Index reported Jan. 20.

Susan Stroman, who piloted The Producers, will also direct the new collaboration, according to the report. Meehan told Playbill On-Line on July 30, 2002, "We're talking about doing something with it," Meehan said. "I'm just waiting for Mel to get in the mood to work. He's been taking it easy. Plus, he's very hands on with all The Producers plans for tours and all that. So, he's isn't really on the beach. But he hasn't been writing anything. We started doing a little work on Young Frankenstein and he said, 'I'm not comfortable right now. Let's forget it.' So, that's where that is." The film, which starred Gene Wilder as a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein who goes to eastern Europe and takes up his ancestor's hobbies, and Peter Boyle as the monster he creates, was one of Brooks' most successful comedies, and, to many film critics, his most consistent and polished work. The movie, a parody of the classic horror films of the 1930s, was made in black and white and featured a famously hilarious scene in which the Frankenstein monster is presented to the public in top hat and tails, performing "Puttin' on the Ritz." Just as the stage version of The Producers kept the song "Springtime for Hitler" from the original film, one imagines this number would be retained in any legitimate adaptation.

Among the story's other characters are the doctor's fiancee (played in the movie by Madeline Kahn), who goes from a prissy virgin to a rapacious vixen with a Bride of Frankenstein hairdo; a comical hunchback (Marty Feldman), who insists on being called "Eye-gor"; a comely fräulein the doctor takes as his mistress (Teri Garr); Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman), a woman so frightening the mention of her name causes horses to rear up; and the rabble-rousing, speech-mangling Police Inspector Hans Wilhelm Friederich Kemp (Kenneth Mars).

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