*Disney Studios is teaming up with Ice Cube and Tommy Kail, the Tony-winning director of Hamilton, for a modern, musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.
Twist tells the story of an orphan boy who moves from a life as an exploited child laborer to being under the wings of Fagin, a leader of a gang of London pickpockets. Hardship, murders and secrets waiting-to-be-revealed follow the boy. Cube, who is writing the treatment with Jeff Kwatinetz, is also attached to play Fagin.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney’s take will be a modern musical with sources describing it as crossing many genres, including hip-hop.
Disney adapted the story in 1988 as an animated movie, “Oliver and Company.” But perhaps the biggest impact on popular culture has been through its countless iterations of the stage musical Oliver!
Marc Platt, the veteran movie producer who was also behind Broadway’s hit musical Wicked, and Kwatinetz are producing. Cube will also produce via his CubeVision banner.
Cube next stars in New Line’s “Fist Fight,” which opens Feb. 17, 2017.
Kail, best known for collaborating with Lin-Manuel Miranda on Broadway’s In the Heights and Hamilton, also directed Fox’s “Grease Live!,” which starred Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens.