South Pacific, Directed by Michael Mayer, May Return to Screen With Michelle Williams
By Adam Hetrick
A film remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Tony Award-winning musical South Pacific may be on the horizon with three-time Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams as Nellie Forbush, according to the Daily Mail.
Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Spring Awakening) is attached to direct the film that has a screenplay by Lynn Grossman. The screenplay will incorporate additional details from James Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Tales of the South Pacific" on which the musical is based.
It is reported that Williams ("My Week with Marilyn," "Brokeback Mountain") has been approached to play naive midwestern nurse Forbush. Producers Bob Balaban, Ileen Maisel, Lawrence Elman and Denis Wigman may also be hoping to lure Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman and Grammy winner Justin Timberlake to portray Emile de Becque and Lieutenant Cable, respectively.
Lincoln Center Theater's 2008 Broadway revival earned the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Director Bartlett Sher was Tony-honored for his expansive staging, which anchored the material to Michener's novel in a new way.
The musical has been twice adapted for the screen. The 1958 film starred Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor, while a 2001 made-for-television version featured Rade Serbedzija, Glenn Close and Harry Connick, Jr.
The 2012 Australian engagement of the Tony-winning LCT production of South Pacific was filmed for future DVD release. A 2006 Carnegie Hall concert presentation, with Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell, was also released on DVD.
South Pacific's score includes numerous American songbook classics, including "Some Enchanted Evening," "Wonderful Guy," "Younger Than Springtime," "Happy Talk," "Bali H'ai" and "There Is Nothing Like a Dame." South Pacific, starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, won nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for its Broadway debut in 1949.
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