Walt Disney Pictures has acquired rights to the Cecelia Ahern novel “If You Could See Me Now” and will turn it into a musical vehicle for Hugh Jackman. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce with Jackman and John Palermo. The novel, from the 23-year-old daughter of Ireland’s prime minister Bertie Ahern, is the first property acquired by the studio following an ambitious deal made by studio toppers Nina Jacobson and Dick Cook earlier this year to craft musicals that will utilize the singing and dancing skills Jackman displayed in his Tony-winning turn in “The Boy From Oz.” Jackman would play the imaginary friend of a lonely 6-year-old who has been left behind by his mother and is being raised by his aunt. The twist: The aunt can suddenly see the imaginary friend, and a romance blossoms between them. Hyperion will publish the book early next year.
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