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Hollywood Buys Film Rights to Broadway's JEKYLL AND HYDE

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The New York Times reports that film producer Mike Medavoy ('BLACK SWAN') and Rick Nicita of RP Media have teamed up to buy the film rights to the Broadway musical JEKYLL AND HYDE. The musical, with a book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and music by Frank Wildhorn, is set to return to Broadway's Marquis Theater in Spring 2013 following a 25-week National Tour.

In an interview on Friday the composer commented on the news saying, "The film musical is a very strange animal. They can bite you in the back, or they can do very well for you."

The story is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's 19th century Masterpiece "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." The novella has inspired a host of films including one which was nominated for three Oscars in 1942. On the other end of the spectrum was 1996's "Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde," which was nominated for three Razzie Awards.

Speaking on the current trend of adapting Broadway musicals to the big screen, Nicita commented, "They're consistently hits if they're made well." He went on to explain that their first step is to find the right director. The goal is to have the film completed in two years.

Mr. Bricusse and Mr. Wildhorn will play a huge role in the casting of the movie, and shared that they were "not simply interested in actors who sing, but rather in first-rate actors who are also first-rate singers." Added Mr. Bricusse, "That is not a long list."

The national tour of JEKYLL & HYDE launched at San Diego's Civic Theatre in San Diego, California on October 2, and stars Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis in the title dual role of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde, alongside Grammy Award nominee and R&B superstar Deborah Cox as Lucy.

Conceived for the stage by Tony and Grammy Award nominee Frank Wildhorn and Steve Cuden, the four time Tony Award Nominated musical JEKYLL & HYDE features a book & lyrics by two-time Oscar winner, Emmy winner and four-time Tony Award Nominee Leslie Bricusse, music by Frank Wildhorn, and will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award Nominee Jeff Calhoun.

Also starring in the production are Teal Wicks (Wicked) as Emma Carew, Laird Mackintosh (Mary Poppins) as John Utterson and Richard White (Most Happy Fella) as Sir Danvers Carew.

Rounding out the cast are David Benoit, Stephen Mitchell Brown, Jerry Christakos, Dana Costello, Wendy Fox, Brian Gallagher, Sean Jenness, Mel Johnson Jr., James Judy, Ashley Loren, Courtney Markowitz, Aaron Ramey, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Rob Richardson, Blair Ross, Doug Storm, Haley Swindal and Jason Wooten.

JEKYLL & HYDE was first introduced as a concept album in 1990 featuring Colm Wilkinson and Linda Eder, and shortly thereafter had its world premiere at the Alley Theatre in Houston starring Chuck Wagner as Jekyll/ Hyde and Linda Eder as Lucy. Following a 30-city National Tour, the Broadway production opened at The Plymouth Theatre on April 28, 1997 and earned four Tony Award nominations. Directed by Robin Phillips and choreographed by Joey Pizzi, the production starred Robert Cuccioli, who earned a Tony Nomination as well as Joseph Jefferson, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for his portrayal of Jekyll/ Hyde, Linda Eder, who won the Theatre World Award for her Broadway debut, as Lucy and Christianne Noll as Emma Carew. After 1,543 performances, and featuring such replacements as Sebastian Bach and David Hasselhoff in the title role, the production played its final performance on January 7, 2001. The show's popularity catapulted well beyond the Great White Way and, within the subsequent decade of its world premiere, JEKYLL & HYDE became an international sensation with multiple tours in the UK and North America, and over a dozen recordings from Germany, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Japan and South Korea, among others.

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