Tracey Ullman will star opposite Carol Burnett in ABC’s upcoming remake of “Once Upon a Mattress.” Marc Platt (“Wicked”) is now aboard as an exec producer.
The Alphabet has given an official greenlight to the tuner, skedded to begin lensing Sept. 7 in Vancouver. Tony winner Kathleen Marshall (“Wonderful Town”) is making her screen helming debut on “Mattress,” which has been in the works at ABC since last year (Daily Variety, Aug. 26).
Tuner is a twist on classic fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.”
Ullman will play Princess Winnifred, the role Burnett originated on Broadway and reprised for two different TV productions. Burnett will star as the evil Queen Aggravain.
Burnett has been working on reviving “Mattress” for more than two years, originally setting it up at CBS. At ABC, project was delayed in part by management chaos at the web.
“It all fell together when I said, ‘We’ve got to get Tracey,’ and everyone agreed,” Burnett told Daily Variety. “A lot of times the networks were thinking about a teenager for the role, but that’s not really what the story is about.”
Indeed, much of the story revolves around the Queen’s reluctance to let anyone in her kingdom get married. “So it makes sense that the (characters) are more adult,” Burnett said, noting she was in her late 30s the second time she played the role for TV.
“And who’s funnier than Tracey Ullman?” Burnett added. “I can’t wait to get into the sandbox with her and play.”
Quinn Taylor, ABC senior VP of movies and minis, called the combo of Burnett and Ullman “such a brilliant pairing.”
Addition of Platt as producer comes after Storyline Entertainment bowed out as producer on the project earlier this year. Burnett said Platt, whose film credits include the “Legally Blonde” franchise, “knew we were producing it and called up and was very passionate about the project.”
Platt joins Burnett and Marty Tudor as exec producers on the new “Mattress.” Tudor and Burnett last worked together on recent CBS special “The Carol Burnett Show: Let’s Bump Up the Lights,” and Burnett credited Tudor with keeping “Mattress” alive through various changes in producers and networks.
“He would not let it fall through the cracks,” she said.
While the Queen has just one song in the original show, Burnett said there’s a chance another tune could be added.
Janet Brownell (“Gilda Radner: It’s Always Something”) wrote the teleplay for the “Mattress” revival from the original book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer.
Mary Rogers wrote the music; lyrics are by Barer.
Ullman is up for five Emmys this year for HBO’s “Trailer Tales.”