Disney to Adapt Broadway Musical '25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'

Beatrice Verhoeven

Disney has picked up the rights to the 2005 Broadway musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and will adapt it into a live-action film, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who produced the 2019 live-action “Aladdin” for the studio, will produce via their Rideback banner. Rideback’s Ryan Halprin will executive produce.

The musical follows several competitors competing in a spelling bee. Composer William Finn’s musical opened on Broadway in 2005 and earned six Tony nominations while winning two: for Rachel Sheinkin’s book and for Dan Fogler’s featured performance. The show, which also included a pre-“Modern Family” Jesse Tyler Ferguson in its original cast, played for nearly three years and 1,100-plus performances on Broadway.

The show is based on an improv play titled “C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E,” created by Rebecca Feldman. Feldman, Jay Reiss, Sarah Saltzberg, and Dan Fogler are credited as creators of the Broadway show, with a score by William Finn and book by Sheinkin. The original show was directed by James Lapine.

A search to find a director and a writer has already begun.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

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