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Sony Pictures has signed a first-look deal with Scott Sanders Theatrical Productions to work on stage versions of the studio’s films.
The pact is noteworthy not only for its term – five years – but the studio has also taken a 20% stake in SSTP. The investment, according to the studio, “will allow SPE the opportunity to open up its extensive film library for stage adaptations.”
At the same time, SPE’s president of worldwide music, Lia Vollack, steps into the newly created role of executive vp, theatrical. She will oversee the stage productions and act as liaison with SSTP.
“Expanding into live theater offers Sony the opportunity to add another dimension to our film and TV properties and I’m very excited about working with Scott Sanders to breathe new life into some of our most beloved characters and franchises,” said Vollack.
Sanders and his team currently have Evita, starring Ricky Martin, performing on Broadway. He was also the lead producer on a stage adaptation of The Color Purple which the company boasts turned a profit in twelve months and will be conducting a multi-year tour. (Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones are among the other producers.)
Sanders also produced both the touring and Broadway productions of Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, which won a 2002 Tony Award while the HBO special garnered two Emmys. The company was also behind The Pee-Wee Herman Show, which went from an L.A. premiere engagement to a sold-out limited run at the Stephen Sondheim Theater on Broadway. It too was followed by an HBO special.
SSTP is currently working with Aaron Sorkin, Stephen Schwartz and Hugh Jackman on Houdini, an upcoming musical based on the life of magician Harry Houdini.
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