Elton John's Rocket Pictures announced today that it has acquired the film rights to Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice biblical-themed musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and is embarking on a new animated feature-film version. Rocket Pictures CEO Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish will produce the film in association with Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Really Useful Group. Webber, Rice, and John will serve as executive producers.
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of the most popular musical experiences ever conceived," said Hamilton. "We are excited about the huge potential of a contemporary animated version, and we're thrilled to bring this to the big screen in partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice."
The Really Useful Group's Managing Director Barney Wragg added, "Developing Joseph as a new feature film marks the beginning of a new stage in the Really Useful Group's plans to co-produce and fund new films, television and stage productions from our theatrical shows [that] play continuously worldwide."
Webber commented on the project as well, stating, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat started in a school and was the first step on the path that led to my musicals with Tim Rice. It is now being performed all over the world by a fourth generation of schoolkids, and a great movie can only help Joseph being part of the lives of many more."
Webber and Rice originally created Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a musical retelling of the biblical story of Joseph and his "coat of many colors," to be performed in schools. It later premiered on Broadway in 1982 at the Royale Theatre, earning three Drama Desk nominations and seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score.
A national tour of the stage production is currently underway, starring American Idol alumni Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young.