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Disney Theatrical Developing ‘The Princess Bride’ for the Stage

New project is unrelated to the prior attempt to turn the property into a musical

Disney Theatrical Prods. has embarked on a stage adaptation of “The Princess Bride” in a deal shepherded by Alan Horn.

With no creative team yet attached, it’s not yet been decided whether the developing show will be a play or a musical. Either way the production will be entirely unrelated to the prior attempt to turn the property into a musical, which was scuttled in 2007 due to a rights disagreement between composer Adam Guettel (“The Light in the Piazza”) and book writer William Goldman, who wrote both the original 1973 novel and the screenplay for the 1987 movie version.

Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, has ties to “Princess Bride” through his tenure at Castle Rock (a division of Warner Bros., which Horn also has led).

The property, a comic fantasy-romance that generated the now-iconic film adaptation, has long seemed a natural candidate for a large-scale stage version, given its highly recognizable title and a fanciful storyline that would seemingly accommodate musical numbers without much friction. The Castle Rock pic was directed by Rob Reiner, helming a cast that included Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal and Carole Kane, among others; Norman Lear was on board as an exec producer.

No production timeline has yet been set for the legit adaptation from Disney Theatrical (“The Lion King,” “Newsies”), led by producer Thomas Schumacher. Title is just one of the shows in varying stages of development at the Mouse House’s stage division, including “Shakespeare in Love,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Dumbo” and “Freaky Friday.” The company’s tuner version of “Aladdin” recently began its out-of-town tryout run in Toronto prior to a berth on Broadway in the spring.

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