Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has signed a deal with Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions (SSTP) — the five-year deal will bring several films from Sony’s film library to the Broadway stage. The partnership results in SSTP having the first pick of Sony’s films and they will be the primary theatrical consultant to help Sony’s films take the stage with other producers as well.
Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment said, “Expanding our successful relationship with Scott Sanders was the natural next step that provides the studio with a talented Broadway partner to help bring our film and TV libraries to the stage, and further diversify the studio’s entertainment offerings,” as noted on Playbill.com.
Tootsie the 1982 cross-dressing comedic film, starring Dustin Hoffman is scheduled to be the first screen to stage production in the deal. The musical adaptation is just in the beginning stages, no casting or creative team has been announced yet. Tootsie is about an actor named Michael Dorsey, who has a bad reputation and is struggling to find work. In order to get a role on the soap opera Southwest General, he decides to take on a female persona and dress up as a woman, which he calls Dorothy Michaels.
This deal represents a popular trend of many Hollywood film studios that are turning movies and books into musicals. Some of the top-grossing productions are “Wicked” and “The Lion King.” Disney started the trend with “The Lion King,” “Newsies,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Mary Poppins.” Tourists can’t get enough of the stage adaptations, such as “Bring It On,” “Ghost,” “Leap of Faith,” and “Once.”
According to Playbill.com, Scott Sanders stated, “Sony Pictures has given the world some of the most exciting and compelling films in history. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such extraordinary source material and to mine it for titles that make sense for theatrical adaptation. Our goal is to rediscover stories and characters which speak to the human experience, and that audiences want to see again, but from a new perspective.”
From start to finish it can take more than five years to bring a film adaptation to the Broadway stage, so there is no telling how many projects can be developed during the five year deal.
Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions previous screen to stage productions include: “Color Purple,” “Elaine Stritch: At Liberty,” and “The Pee-Wee Herman Show.” Scott Sanders is the founder and CEO of SSTP, his partners include: Robert Kraft, David Kraft, Roy Furman and Jim Fantaci. Sanders has also brought on Sandy Block to help his team. Block is a 25-year Broadway industry veteran who will be the producer and Vice President Theater.
Sony has produced a great deal of successful films such as: Men in Black, Stuart Little, Bewitched, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. Lia Vollack, SPE president, has stepped into the new role of Executive Vice President, Theatrical.
Vollack said, “Expanding into live theater offers Sony the opportunity to add another dimension to our film and TV properties and I’m very excited about working with Scott Sanders to breathe new life into some of our most beloved characters and franchises,” according to Playbill.com.