Coming off the release of its 2011 animated film Gnomeo & Juliet, Disney is upping the Shakespearean ante with Broadway talent, having recently hired Broadway director Alex Timbers to helm its yet-to-be-titled musical feature film. Billed as a contemporary adaptation of a Shakespeare play, Timbers says of the film "The script stretches the boundaries of the movie musical and demands the sort of surprising visuals and raucous spectacle I love to create in my own stage musicals." The Tony Award-nominated Timbers has become a staple of the Broadway community, best known for directing the 2011 musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and the 2012 play Peter and the Starcatcher.
The film will be executive produced by Jon Chu and Matt Smith of Offspring Entertainment, alongside Offspring Entertainment producers Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot. The first draft of the feature was written by Amy Talkington, writer of several short films including Our Very First Sex Tape (2003) and The New Arrival (2000). The idea for the musical originated with Talkington and executive producer Matt Smith, who are currently collaborating on the MGM remake of the 1983 film Valley Girl. Timbers will now join Talkington in writing future drafts of the script.