"Sleepless in Seattle" gets musical makeover

Tue Mar 3, 2009 3:35pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Sleepless in Seattle" -- the 1993 movie that turned Tom Hanks into a romantic leading man, is being developed as musical headed for Broadway, producers said on Tuesday.

Eighteen songs have already been written for "Sleepless in Seattle - The Musical" and producers are aiming for a first reading in May 2009 and an official opening in early 2010.

Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Leslie Bricusse, whose past musicals include "Stop The World, I Want To Get Off" and the song "What Kind of Fool Am I?", is part of the creative team along with Joel Zwick, who directed the 2002 breakout hit movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".

Producer David Shor, who is developing the musical, said he had recently acquired the theatrical rights to the movie and had already received an option to finance up to 50 percent of the production budget.

Jeff Arch, who co-wrote the movie screenplay, will write the book of the show.

"This is a timeless romantic comedy that lends itself to stage production, and having one of the film's original writers involved -- someone who has lived these characters for many years -- will help us bring it to life in an authentic way," Shor said in a statement.

Shor said the musical would remain pegged to 1993, reflecting the culture, fashions and music of the era.

"Sleepless in Seattle", starring Hanks as a lonely widow who meets and falls in love with Meg Ryan's ditzy Annie Reed through a radio talk show, was listed in 2008 as one of the American Film Institute's Top Ten best romantic comedies of all time.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)