Disney's 'Princess Bride' Musical Sets New Creative Team

20th Century Fox/Everett Collection
Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in 'The Princess Bride' (1987)

The long-gestating stage project based on the 1987 Rob Reiner film will feature a score by 'The Band's Visit' Tony winner David Yazbek and a book by Bob Martin and Rick Elice.

In the first major development on the project since the death of screenwriter and novelist William Goldman in November, Disney Theatrical Productions has confirmed that a new creative team is in place on its long-planned stage adaptation of The Princess Bride.

The show will feature original music and lyrics by David Yazbek, a 2018 Tony Award winner for The Band's Visit, whose new musical adaptation of Tootsie currently is in previews on Broadway. The book will be penned by Bob Martin, a Tony nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone, represented on Broadway this season with The Prom; and Rick Elice, whose credits include the long-running smash Jersey Boys and this season's The Cher Show. Elice also wrote the play Peter and the Starcatcher, based on a Disney property.

Rob Reiner's 1987 film The Princess Bride, adapted for the screen by Goldman from his 1973 novel, is a comic fairy tale recounted by an old man to his ailing grandson about a farmhand-turned-pirate and the wild adventures of his quest to be reunited with his true love. 

The movie was a modest success at the time of its release, but has since grown into a cult classic. It stars Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Billy Crystal, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest and Peter Falk.

Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, who was involved with the Reiner film during his Castle Rock tenure, shepherded the stage version through its earliest gestations, initially as a collaboration between Goldman and composer Adam Guettel, who parted ways on the project in 2007. 

In 2013, Horn and Disney reiterated their commitment to the stage project, with Goldman on board, though no further creative team was announced at that time. Nor was it specified whether the developing work would be a musical or play. The new writing team answers that question, though a Disney Theatrical spokesperson said a timeline is not yet in place and no director is attached.

Disney Theatrical, which this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first stage project, Beauty and the Beast, currently has three musicals running on Broadway: The Lion King, Aladdin and Frozen, the latter recently entering its second year.  

Another popular Disney animated feature will get stage treatment late this summer, with the world premiere of Hercules, produced by The Public Theater as part of its Public Works initiative. Directed by Lear deBessonet and choreographed by Chase Brock, the musical will feature the score from the 1997 film, with additional songs by original composer Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel, and a new book by playwright Kristoffer Diaz. Performances begin Aug. 31 at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park.