Idina Menzel to Star in 'Beaches' TV Movie for Lifetime

She is taking on the role originally played by Bette Midler in the 1988 feature film of the same name.
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Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel is headed for the beach with Lifetime.

The Frozen and Rent favorite has been tapped to take on Bette Midler's role in a TV movie remake of 1988's Beaches, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The film follows the serendipitous meeting of two kids on the Venice Boardwalk, who, though worlds apart in lifestyle, embark on an unexpected and lifelong friendship. CC (Menzel) is an aspiring singer trying to make it in Los Angeles until she is discovered by a director who gives CC her first big shot. Hillary (Barbara Hershey in the feature) is the daughter of a prominent civil rights lawyer who struggles to find her own destiny. Their friendship — even with its ups and downs — sustains them for decades.

Production is set to begin on the Lifetime movie Aug. 15 in Vancouver.

The movie's music — including "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "The Glory of Love" — will be included, with new takes on those as well as several other songs that Menzel will record specifically for the Lifetime incarnation.

Casting is underway for the role of Hillary. Lifetime's Beaches will be executive produced by Denise Di Novi (Crazy, Stupid, Love) and Alison Greenspan (If I Stay). Allison Anders (Ring of Fire) will direct. Bart Baker (Honeymoon With Harry) and Nikole Beckwith (Stockholm, Pennsylvania) will pen the script for the A+E Studios-produced movie. The project is set to premiere in 2017. A specific date has yet to be announced.  

The original movie, from the late Garry Marshall, grossed $57 million domestically, with "Wind Beneath My Wings" earning record and song of the year Grammys. The new project, announced a week after Marshall's death, has been in the works for more than a year.  

For Lifetime, it marks the latest TV movie reboot and follows its rendition of Steel Magnolias, which set ratings records for the female-skewing cable network. 

 

 
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