So word on the street – first reported in an exclusive from Playbill – is that Disney has a new idea for their next big stage production: an adaptation of their most recent version of Alice in Wonderland. Linda Woolverton will adapt her own screenplay and Burton will act as a consultant. No timeline for the production has been announced: is Disney is waiting to see how Wonderland sells before committing to the production completely? Also conspicuously missing from all of the rumours around this project is the mention of any composer or lyricist. It sounds like the kind of thing Jeanine Tesori accepts all too easily and she has done a fair amount of work for Disney, although I hope Tesori is looking for a more challenging follow-up to Shrek.
As far as I’m concerned, this sounds like a terrible idea. Alice in Wonderland was one of the most disappointing films of last year and Linda Woolverton should not be allowed near screenplays or books for musicals. Her work – amongst other works, she’s produced the workmanlike Aida and the outright flop Lestat – is really never good enough. The piece for which she has garnered the most acclaim, Beauty and the Beast, was a result of the collaborative efforts of herself, Howard Ashman and the process through which all animated films are made. It’s not as if she sat down and wrote a screenplay that was directly translated to the screen. Oh well, I suppose it keeps her busy when she could be inflicting a new project onto the world.
Any other thoughts on this idea?