Cue Ice Cube rapping about ‘picking a pocket or two.’
Indeed, the rapper/actor is teaming up with Disney and Thomas Kail (the Tony-winning director of hit Broadway musical Hamilton) for a modern musical take on Charles Dickens’ classic novel Oliver Twist… yay?
The Hollywood Reporter writes that ‘the new Oliver Twist will be a modern musical with sources describing it as crossing many genres, including hip-hop’ so maybe we should be suspecting something along the lines of Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis-starrer Annie in 2014 – an updated musical with an updated, urban feel but not too gritty for young audiences.
Fans of Ice Cube (co-founder of N.W.A. and star of films like Ride Along and 21 Jump Street) should love it anyway as he is not only producing the project, but also starring in it as the sneaky but charismatic Fagin, and writing the treatment with producer Jeff Kwatinetz of The Firm. Marc Platt, a veteran movie producer who was behind Wicked, is also producing.
Oliver Twist, which tells the story of an orphan boy who goes from a gang of young pickpockets led by Fagin to the swanky home where he belongs, was previously adapted by Disney into talking animal animation (well, what else would we expect?) Oliver and Company.
The book’s most popular film adaptation to date was the 1968 musical film Oliver!, and it was also adapted by Roman Polanski. Last month, we reported that a female remake of Charles Dickens’ novel is also in the works.