The previously reported musical adaptation of Sylvester Stallone's Oscar-winning 1976 movie Rocky is confirmed to make its world premiere in Hamburg, Germany, in November 2012. No casting has been announced at this time, but a German company is expected. Stallone, who wrote and starred in the original film, then plans to bring an English version of the stage show on a worldwide tour.
"I love the idea of seeing Rocky on stage, it's just a natural extension," Stallone, who also serves as a producer of the musical, recently said at a press event in Hamburg. "I've always seen it as a musical presentation: the tempo, the way the characters talk, their voices, what they said, was almost lyrical and poetic in some way. I can't wait to be at the premiere and say, 'I told you! I told you it had soul.' Rocky is not just a sports film, it's a story that can go on for generations and generations, about how everyone is entitled to a moment of dignity."
Rocky features a score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime) and a book by Thomas Meehan (The Producers, Hairspray, Annie). Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) will direct. Andy Karl (Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde) has played the title role in two readings of the show, with Tricia Paoluccio recently joining him as Rocky's love interest, Adrian.
Stallone will produce the $15 million musical alongside world champion boxing brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, who will also train the actor playing Rocky, as well as Kevin King Templeton and Stage Entertainment.