Original writer, song scribe set for musical

The developing tuner version of “Somewhere in Time” has set its creative team, with original novelist-screenwriter Richard Matheson co-writing the book and Leslie Arden on board to pen songs.

Producer Ken Davenport will co-write the book with Matheson. Stafford Arima, who helmed the Off Broadway longrunner “Altar Boyz” (of which Davenport also is a producer), directs.

It’ll be the first tuner for Matheson, whose books have yielded a slew of movie titles including “I Am Legend,” “Duel,” “Hell House,” “Stir of Echoes” and 1975 novel “Bid Time Return,” the time-traveling romance filmed in 1980 under the title “Somewhere in Time” (for which Matheson wrote the screenplay). His TV credits include several well-known episodes of the original run of “The Twilight Zone.”

Matheson already had been working on his own musical adaptation of “Somewhere in Time” when he was approached for the rights by producer and co-book writer Davenport, who is also credited as one of the conceivers of “Altar Boyz” and as a writer of his Off Broadway production “My First Time.” Davenport has been a producer on Broadway fare including “Blithe Spirit,” “Speed-the-Plow” and Will Ferrell show “You’re Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush.”

Canuck composer Arden has written tuners including “The House of Martin Guerre,” seen in Toronto in 1993 and at Chicago’s Goodman Theater in 1996, as well as an adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing,” “The Boys Are Coming Home,” seen in Chi in 2006. She is at work on a contempo adaptation of “Moll Flanders.”

Plot of “Somewhere in Time” follows a modern-day man who uses self-hypnosis to send himself back in time to meet an actress on whose portrait he has become fixated.

Davenport said he envisions the brewing tuner as a medium-sized Broadway musical. Projects of that size are often capitalized in the $8 million range.

No timeline has yet been nailed down, nor has any casting. Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer starred in the pic.

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