Last summer Bob Balaban announced plans to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific back to the big screen. Broadway.com caught up with the actor-turned-producer to find out more about the project.
“It’s going beautifully,” Balaban said of development. “Our [screenwriter] Lynn Grossman is really smart. She can write period [scenes], but it feels very real and contemporary without being modern. I think it will be great.”
Balaban was hesitant to reveal any actors he’s hoping to recruit to play Ensign Nellie Forbush and dashing Frenchman Emile de Becque. “These things take so long that by the time we actually make [the film] our dream cast could be dead,” he said with a laugh.
South Pacific has been adapted to film twice already thanks to the 1958 film starring Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi and a 2001 TV movie featuring Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jr. Balaban hopes the project will bring new life to the tale without straying too far from the source material. “It’s reinvented, but all its values are still the same,” he said. “This will be the South Pacific music that you know and love, and the play as you remember it. The same main characters will be developed, but like [in] a real movie, not like we just filmed the play.”