Here's some "happy talk" for South Pacific fans: the iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical will receive the big screen treatment for a second time.
Actor Bob Balaban and his production company Chicago films is working alongside Amber Entertainment and Imagem, the owner of Rodgers and Hammerstein's copyrights, to adapt the musical. The film will include the show's original score (which includes standards such as "Some Enchanted Evening" and "A Wonderful Guy") while retaining a darker feel on par with James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific, the book on which the show is based. "Our movie will be a tougher, more realistic retelling of the same classic story of two very different people whose love for each other transcends their enormous cultural differences," Balaban said in a statement. "We think there's a whole new audience just waiting to fall in love with its magical score, epic romance and exotic locale." No casting has been announced.
The original Broadway production of South Pacific opened on April 7, 1949, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The show, which tells the story of World War Two nurse Nellie Forbush (originally played by Mary Martin), who falls for mysterious Frenchman, Emile de Becque (Ezio Pinza), while stationed on a Pacific island, ran for nearly five years and played 1,925 performances. The current Broadway revival opened at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater on April 3, 2008. The revival, starring Kelli O'Hara and Paulo Szot, won seven Tonys, including Best Revival of a Musical, and will close on August 22.
The first South Pacific film was released in 1958 and starred Mitzi Gaynor, Rossano Brazzi, John Kerr and Ray Walston. It was the top earning film of that year. In 2001 South Pacific was filmed for television starring Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jr.