Adaptation of the Musical “Once On This Island” In Development For Disney+

After the success of Hamilton, which made its debut on Disney+ earlier this month, the streaming service is looking to develop another project based on a musical, and may have found one in Once On This Island,  according to the Hollywood Reporter.

What’s Happening:

  • Playwright Jocelyn Bioh is currently working with director Wanuri Kahiu to develop Once On This Island, an adaption of a Broadway musical based on a novel, My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl.
  • Producer of Wicked, and movies like La La Land and Legally Blonde, Marc Platt, is also attached to the new project.
  • Once On This Island is a one act musical that is set in the French Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. It concerns a peasant girl on a tropical island, who uses the power of love to bring people together of different social classes.
  • The musical originally only ran for a single year, but developed a following that has grown to this day, thanks especially to later runs at smaller theaters and even A production in London’s West End in the mid-1990s that won the Olivier Award for best new musical and an additional 2017 revival earned several Tony nominations and a win for best musical revival. Lynn Ahrens wrote the lyrics and the book while Stephen Flaherty composed the music.
  • Bioh is known for off-Broadway’s School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play and Nollywood Dreams. She has also written an original musical, Goddess that will have its world premiere at Berkeley Rep in spring 2021 before it begins a run on Broadway. She also previously wrote for Spike Lee’s Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It and the Netflix show Russian Doll.
  • Where Hamilton’s Disney+ release essentially filmed a performance of the stage production, Once On This Island is anticipated to be more of a traditional musical-to-film adaptation.

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