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JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, the first masterpiece from the legendary writing team of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, is to have a new big screen transfer.

According to the Risky Biz blog, Universal Pictures is keen to follow-up the phenomenal success of last year's "Mamma Mia!" film, and is turning to 'Superstar' to make that happen.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR exploded onto the scene in 1971, and the ensuing years have brought numerous revivals and adaptations, including a 1973 film version directed by Norman Jewison.

Now, it seems Universal and producer Marc Platt (of WICKED fame) are in active development on a remake of the property, allegedly to be helmed by "(500) Days of Summer" director, Marc Webb.

Webb has been quietly meeting with studio heads over the past few months regarding the project, and Platt is said to be strongly supporting Webb being brought on-board. Sources close to the project have asserted that the studio and Webb are not in active negotiations at the moment.

A remake of 'Superstar' could mean big money for the studio. The surprising success of "Mamma Mia!" reaped $600 million globally.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR opened on Broadway on October 12, 1971, at the Mark Hellinger Theatre and was the first musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber to be produced on the professional stage.

The original Broadway cast recording starring Ian Gillan (Jesus), Murray Head (Judas) and Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalene) topped the American album charts three times.

Ted Neeley headlined the first touring company that opened at the Universal Studios Amphitheater on June 28, 1972. The national tour also starred Carl Anderson and Heather MacRae.

On August 9, 1972 the London production opened. Closing eight years and 3,358 performances later, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, had become the longest running musical in West End history.

In 1973, Academy Award winning director Norman Jewison directed the motion picture version of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, starring Ted Neeley. The film was shot on location in Israel.

Directed by Gale Edwards and designed by John Napier, a new production opened in the Lyceum Theatre in the fall of 1996. The production was then re-worked and re-designed to tour the United Kingdom in 1998 and 1999. The show played Dublin in August, 1999, and in January, 2000, opened at the Coliseum Theatre in Essen, Germany, for a six month run.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR earned a TONY nomination for best musical revival for the production that opened April 16, 2000, at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Both US and UK tours followed.

A new touring production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, with Ted Neeley one again in the title role, has recently been playing theatres across the country.


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