Warner Bros. Theater Ventures has locked in the Broadway plans for its musical “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” with Jack O’Brien (“Hairspray,” “The Coast of Utopia”) taking the helm for an opening in spring 2017.
The formal announcement from WB’s theater division matches up with the expectations for the show after the exit of original director Sam Mendes. O’Brien had already been tipped for the gig, and “Charlie” had long been on tap for the 2016-17 season.
O’Brien reteams with his “Hairspray” songwriters Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman on the project, with Joshua Bergasse (“Smash,” “On the Town”) signing on as choreographer. It’s expected that some creative retooling will be done to the show under its new director, but exactly what changes will be made from the original production remain to be seen.
The musical’s world premiere staging, directed by Mendes and choreographed by Peter Darling, opened on the West End in 2013. It’ll close there in early 2017.
“Charlie” is part of a broader theater push for WB that, on Broadway, also includes Tony winner “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” and “Misery,” which earlier this season had a run that starred Bruce Willis. Warner Bros. Theater Ventures, led by Mark Kaufman, produces “Charlie” with Langley Park Productions (Kevin McCormick) and Neal Street Productions, headed by Mendes and Caro Newling.
Exact dates, theater and casting details remain to be set. Douglas Hodge, a Tony winner for “La Cage aux Folles,” led the original cast of the London production.