Okay, this is old news, but I felt compelled to blog about it here just because I'm still pretty heartbroken over it. I really can't imagine a movie-to-musical adaptation with greater potential than The Princess Bride. The combination of clever wit, sweeping romance, and swashbuckling action made the property a perfect choice for the Broadway musical treatment, much moreso than Big or even Footloose. I mean, the song titles practically write themselves...
ACT ONE: "As You Wish", "Inconceivable", "I Don't Think They Exist"
ACT TWO: "Mostly Dead", "A Shortage of Perfect Breasts", "Prepare to Die!"
But the real promise of this show was in the partnership of Oscar-winner William Goldman (book) with Tony-winner Adam Guettel (music and lyrics). Suddenly it was clear that the producers weren't just out to make a quick buck on the cult-popularity of the 1987 film. This was to be a high-concept show with real artistic merit.
Unfortunately, all those lofty dreams came to a screeching halt last month when Goldman and Guettel had a falling-out over show ownership and profits. According to the New York Post, Goldman reportedly wants 75% of the authors' share, and because he owns the rights to the property, Guettel must consent to those terms or Goldman walks away.
My question is, why the power play by Goldman? He has already written the novel and screenplay versions of The Princess Bride, so it seems logical to assume that writing the book for the musical would not demand a great deal of time or effort on the part of the veteran writer. Guettel, however, is composing an entire show's worth of original songs and lyrics. If anything, Goldman should receive 33% ownership to Guettel's 67%. But seeing as how Guettel is such a self-avowed fan of the movie, I bet he'd be pleased as punch with a 50-50 split. What does Goldman have to gain by demanding such lopsided terms? At his age and with his impressive resume, I just can't believe that Goldman's holding out for more money. How utterly disappointing.