Julie Taymor Has Her Eyes on ACROSS THE UNIVERSE for Future Stage Adaptation

According to Variety, during a BroadwayCon panel on Broadway's THE LION KING, Julie Taymor was asked what film she wants to bring to the stage next. "ACROSS THE UNIVERSE," she said. "It belongs onstage."

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (2007) is a groundbreaking movie musical, directed by Taymor and written by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais (The Commitments), that brings together an original story and 30 revolutionary songs including: 'Hey Jude,' 'I Am the Walrus' and 'All You Need is Love,' that defined a generation. The film starred Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess and grossed over $24 million at the box office.

A love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock 'n roll, the film moves from the dockyards of Liverpool to the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village, from the riot-torn streets of Detroit to the killing fields of Vietnam. The star-crossed lovers, Jude and Lucy, along with a small group of friends and musicians, are swept up into the emerging anti-war and counterculture movements, with Dr. Robert Mr. Kite as their guides. Tumultuous forces outside their control ultimately tear the young lovers apart, forcing Jude and Lucy against all odds to find their own way back to each other.

In 1998, Taymor became the first woman to win the Tony® Award for Best Direction of a Musical, and also won a Tony® for Best Costumes, for her landmark production of The Lion King. The musical has won three Molière Awards including Best Musical and Best Costumes, garnered Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League awards for Taymor's direction, and myriad awards for her original costume, mask and puppet designs. For her latest Broadway production, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Taymor served as director and co-book writer. Taymor made her Broadway debut in 1996 with Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass, nominated for five Tony® Awards. Other theatre work includes The Green Bird, Titus Andronicus, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, The Transposed Heads and Liberty's Taken. Taymor's feature film directorial debut, Titus, starred Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange and Alan Cumming.

In 2002, her biographical film Frida, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina, earned six Academy Award® nominations, winning two. She took on the music of the Beatles, and earned a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Julie's most recent film, The Tempest, had its North American premiere at the 48th New York Film Festival in October 2010, following a world premiere at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. Taymor's adaptation of the William Shakespeare play features an all-star cast including Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Djimon Hounsou and Alfred Molina.

Beyond the theatre and screen, Taymor has directed five operas internationally including Oedipus Rex with Jessye Norman, for which she earned the International Classical Music Award for Best Opera Production. A subsequent film version premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won her an Emmy® award. Taymor also directed Salome´, The Flying Dutchman, Die Zauberflöte (which has been in repertory at The Met for six years), The Magic Flute (the abridgEd English version of Die Zauberflöte, which inaugurated a new PBS series entitled "Great Performances at The Met") and Elliot Goldenthal's Grendel. Taymor is a 1991 recipient of the MacArthur "genius" Fellowship.

Read Gordon Cox's Variety article on THE LION KING panel here.

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