Anyone who likes to laugh and likes to spell got some good news this week: Disney is at work on a film adaptation of the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who oversaw the live-action Aladdin in 2019, will produce with Ryan Halprin as executive producer. The trio will operate through Lin and Eirich's production company Rideback. A creative team and cast will be revealed later.
Based on The Farm’s original play C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee tells the tale of several socially awkward youngsters finding joy, heartache, and purpose in competing at the regional spelling bee.
The Broadway production opened at the Circle in the Square Theatre in 2005, featuring a number of then relatively unknown stars, including Derrick Baskin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler (who won a Tony for his performance), Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Jose Llana. It played 21 previews and 1,136 regular performances.
Spelling Bee features music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin, and was conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss. It went on to earn six Tony Award nominations, winning two (for Fogler's performance and Sheinkin's book).