One of the most talked about releases of the summer came when Disney+ dropped the original stage version of Hamilton instead of the Mouse House going forward with the initially planned theatrical run for next year. The streaming service serving as a place for audiences to enjoy the Broadway show from their homes has certainly boasted interest among subscribers. Next, Disney is adapting the award-winning musical Once On This Island exclusively for the streaming platform.
Rather than Once On This Island being a taping of the stage musical that had a successful 2017 revival and earned it a distinguished Tony Award, the Broadway show that originated on the stage in 1990 will be given a live-action adaptation for Disney+, per The Hollywood Reporter. Jocelyn Boih, the writer of Netflix’s adaptation of Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It and Russian Doll, is penning the script, and Wanuri Kahiu, the director of 2018 indie film Rafiki, will helm the movie.
Once On This Island is a musical set in the French Antilles of the Caribbean Sea that follows a young peasant girl who falls for an aristocrat. As their social class differences flame the fires of their budding romance, the island gods make a wager to prove what is ultimately stronger: love or death. It makes sense this Broadway show may pique the interest of Disney+, considering it gives off something of a Moana or The Little Mermaid feel to it.
Check out Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune in the 2017 revival of Once On This Island sing the song “Waiting For Life” from the beginning of the show here:
Once On This Island was touring the United States when the current health crisis stalled its run, along with just about the entire Broadway industry. Courtnee Carter had taken over Kilgore’s leading role of Ti Moune on the tour. The one-act show is based on a Rosa Guy novel called My Love, My Love and The Peasant Girl.
The musical initially only ran for one year on Broadway in 1990, but when it moved to London’s West end in 1994, it was distinguished with the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Its most recent run on Broadway earned it the Best Musical Revival award at the Tonys. This news follows rumors last week that the Broadway version of Aladdin is expected to get a release on Disney+ as well.
The development of Once On This Island for live action is exciting news for Broadway fans as the platform invests in more musicals for the streaming service. The show itself is sure to get a boost as well now that it has the Disney name behind it. Coming next on Disney+ is the Beyonce-directed film with roots in The Lion King titled Black Is King coming out this Friday, July 31.