Sony Pictures has snatched the movie rights to the destined-for-Broadway Britney Spears musical Once Upon a One More Time, a show featuring songs from the pop star’s catalog, reports Deadline. The stage production will have its world premiere at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago this fall, prior to a Broadway run the following year.
Spears will be a producer on the film along with manager Larry Rudolph.
Once Upon a One More Time is said to be an irreverent musical in which Cinderella, Snow White, and other fairy tale princesses settle in for their book club when a mischievous fairy godmother introduces them to The Feminine Mystique, inciting a feminist revolution.
The musical’s official description questions, “‘Could there really be more to life than bird-made dresses and true love’s kiss?’ In bypassing a standard biographical approach, Once Upon a One More Time sounds more akin to the recent Broadway production Head Over Heels, a fairy-tale comedy featuring the music of ’80s band the Go-Go’s.”
The musical comedy will feature popular hits by Spears such as “Oops I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” “Circus” and “Toxic.” The musical will include an original book written by Jon Hartmere and with Rock Of Ages’ Kristin Hanggi slated to direct and Keone and Mari Madrid (Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself) set to choreograph. It is said the movie could have the screen potential of Mamma Mia!
Deadline reported that the stage musical would replace the Michael Jackson bio-musical Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough in its pre-Broadway Chicago stretch.
The Jackson show was scheduled to run from October 29 to December 1, until its producers, which included the Jackson Estate, decided against the series of shows in favor of going directly to Broadway next year.
James L. Nederlander released a statement praising Spears and promoting the show.
“Throughout her career, Britney has captivated fans across the globe with her singular brand of energy and resilience. For three years, we have been working closely with her to develop a concept that perfectly encapsulates her unique spirit, and are so thrilled to finally bring this joyous and electrifying show to the stage.”
Britney Spears also sent out a release, which said it was a “dream come true” to have a musical featuring her songs alongside characters she grew up with.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has won an auction for screen rights to the Broadway-bound 'Once Upon a One More Time', a fairy tale fueled by the hit songs of Britney Spears https://t.co/03FeHumYaf— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) April 23, 2019
The Chicago stand of Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough was canceled weeks prior to the airing of HBO’s documentary Leaving Neverland, in which James Safechuck and Wade Robson (a choreographer who once worked for Spears) detailed allegations of Jackson’s molestation and abuse of them as underage boys.
The producers of the Jackson musical linked the show’s cancellation to the Actor’s Equity strike, which lasted 33 days until February 8, and barred union workers from contributing to a developmental workshop for the musical. A spokesperson from Equity disputed the claim and noted that the strike only delayed the workshop by 12 working days, which would hardly be impactful enough for a run scheduled in late October.