Neil Meron & Craig Zadan


If they make movies long enough, it’s a good bet they’ll dethrone the big one: “Grease,” the top-grossing movie musical of all time.

At present, Meron and Zadan have produced “Chicago” and “Hairspray,” No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on the box office tuner chart.

John Travolta, who stars in No. 1 and No. 3, compares the makers of “Grease” and “Hairspray.” “Allan Carr and Robert Stigwood were as savvy businessmen as are Craig and Neil,” he says, “but Craig and Neil have this additional thing. They are savvy about what makes a great musical, and are more acutely attuned to the musical theater-slash-film world.”

Most recent movie musicals have disappointed at the box office. So what do Meron and Zadan know that others don’t?

“The great musicals were created for the stage, not for film,” Meron says. “It is the rare ones that you can envision and reinvent as a film musical.”

Zadan points to their training ground in the 1990s with the TV versions of “Gypsy,” “Cinderella” and “Annie.”

“If you’ve never done a musical and thrown into the lion’s den of producing one, I don’t know where you’d learn what to do,” he says.

Putting the tuners aside for the moment, the producing duo’s next movie is “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, followed by Frank Darabont’s “Fahrenheit 451.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety