Elton John‘s Rocket Pictures has acquired feature rights to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s global stage phenomenon “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and is embarking on an animated family film in association with The Really Useful Group, the company announced Wednesday.
Rocket Pictures CEO Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish will produce the film with The Really Useful Group, while John will executive produce with Webber and Rice.
“‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ is one of the most popular musical experiences ever conceived. We are excited about the huge potential of a contemporary animated version, and we’re thrilled to bring this to the big screen in partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice,” said Shaw.
“‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ started in a school and was the first step on the path that led to my musicals with Tim Rice. It is now being performed all over the world by a fourth generation of school kids, and a great movie can only help Joseph being part of the lives of many more,” said Webber.
“I have always thought ‘Joseph’ was a strong contender for an animation production, and I’m delighted this is now going to happen,” said Rice.
“Developing ‘Joseph’ as a new feature film marks the beginning of a new stage in the Really Useful Group’s plans to co-produce and fund new films, television and stage productions from our theatrical shows which play continuously worldwide,” added Barney Wragg, managing director of The Really Useful Group.
Originally created by Webber and Rice for performance in schools, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is the most performed musical in history. The stage show has now been seen by an estimated 26 million people, earning over $600 million at the box office as it continues to enthrall audiences around the world. It premiered on Broadway in 1982 at the Royale Theatre and became a critical and box office hit, landing multiple Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations including Best Musical and Best Original Score. The show has notched up a record 30 years of continuous professional touring around the U.K, will tour the U.S. later in 2014 and is a regular in international markets including South Africa and Korea.
Rocket Pictures is currently producing the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” starring Tom Hardy, while the company is also at work on “Sherlock Gnomes,” a sequel to the company’s 3D animated hit “Gnomeo & Juliet,” which earned $200 million worldwide. Rocket Pictures is also developing the animated family film “Will Gallows and the Snake Bellied Troll,” written and to be directed by Kelly Asbury.
The Really Useful Group is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theater producing and rights licensing company and controls the theatrical rights for all of Andrew’s works, including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita” and “Sunset Boulevard.”