Hatchery bringing B'way musical to bigscreen

The Hatchery is birthing a feature adaptation of the horror-themed Broadway musical “Jekyll and Hyde” in partnership with Grand Illusions Media Partners.

Jonathan Sanger, a producer of upcoming feature “The Producers,” will produce the horror-musical feature with Emmy winners Dan Angel (“Door-to-Door”) and Margaret Loesch along with Ed Elbert of Grand Illusions. Loesch is co-CEO of the Hatchery, a production/marketing entity launched in 2003.

Leslie Bricusse, who’s won two songwriting Oscars and was Tony-nommed for best book for “Jekyll and Hyde,” will exec produce with Frank Wildhorn, who wrote the music for the Broadway play. Bruce Stein, co-CEO of the Hatchery, and Sarah Ryan Black, senior VP of Grand Illusions, will also exec produce.

Sanger, noting that “The Producers” had received four Golden Globe noms Tuesday, told Daily Variety, “We think ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ is a sexy, edgy property with a great pedigree, especially now that the world is safe for musicals.”

Bricusse will pen the adaptation. Sanger plans to hire a director and then turn to casting.

Loesch cited recent successes of feature versions of “Chicago,” and “Moulin Rouge” along with the perpetual appeal of the horror film genre as key reasons for moving ahead.

“Jekyll and Hyde” premiered on Broadway in 1996 and received four Tony nominations. The Broadway production ran for four years followed by tours that included Germany, Austria, Japan, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, France, Canada, South Korea and the U.K., with a total gross near $500 million.

Sanger received an Oscar for the short film “Ray’s Male Heterosexual Dance Hall.” His other credits include “Elephant Man,” “Mission Impossible II,” “Vanilla Sky” and “Frances.”

Bricusse has received 10 Oscar noms, winning for “Talk to the Animals” from “Dr. Dolittle” and original song score with Henry Mancini for “Victor/Victoria.”

“Jekyll and Hyde” is the first project announced by Grand Illusions, a partnership formed by Sanger, Elbert and Black.

The Hatchery productions include TV gameshow “Balderdash” and the Canadian-produced action-adventure series “Young Blades.” It is developing projects based on “The Great Brain,” “Bunnicula” and “Blast-Off Boy,” the Sammy Keyes series of children’s books, the V.C. Andrews suspense novels and short film “The Freak.” In December 2004, American Greetings acquired a stake in the Hatchery.

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