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25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Film in the Works From Disney

The musical features a score by William Finn and book by Rachel Sheinkin.

Celia Keenan-Bolger, Dan Fogler, Sarah Saltzberg Jose Llana, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on Broadway.
(© Joan Marcus)

A film version of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is in the works from Disney. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the producers will be Rideback's Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who also produced Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin, with their colleague Ryan Halprin, who did the show in college, serving as executive producer. Additional details have not been disclosed.

The musical comedy is written by William Finn (music and lyrics) and Rachel Sheinkin (book), and centers around an eclectic group of six tweens vying to win the local spelling championship. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, they spell their way through a series of words, hoping to never hear the soul-crushing ding that signals a mistake.

In addition to Finn and Sheinkin, the musical is conceived by Rebecca Feldman, based on her and the Farm's improvisatory play C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, with additional material by Jay Reiss. It was developed by Barrington Stage Company, with a subsequent production at Second Stage Theatre in 2005. It moved to Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre that season, running 1,136 performances and 21 previews, and winning Tonys for Best Book and Best Featured Actor.

Directed by James Lapine and choreographed by Dan Knechtges, the stage production featured Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler (the company's Tony winner), Lisa Howard, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jose Llana, Jay Reiss, and Sarah Saltzberg.

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