There’s a shortage of perfect films in this world. It would be a pity to damage this one. If you ask anyone with a beating heart, they’ll tell you that Rob Reiner’s 1987 confection, The Princess Bride, is without blemish. (Well, except for that Knopfler song.) The film, of course, is based on William Goldman’s outstanding novel of the same name but I think this is a rare instance where the movie surpasses book. The film strikes the perfect balance of silly, snarky, sappy and utterly charming. It achieves such a rare harmony and though many subsequent films have tried to recapture it, all have fallen short. Stardust, Ever After, Enchanted, Ella Enchanted? All lovely. None quite right.
Anyway, that’s quite enough praise for a universally beloved movie. The point is, there’s really no need to touch it, remake it, or revamp it in any away. That’s not going to stop Disney from trying. They’re mounting a staged musical version of the adventures of Wesley and Buttercup which, and I say this as a fan of musicals, blech. Can you imagine? Soft-shoeing shrieking eels? Razzle-dazzling R.O.U.S.s? Pirouetting sword fights? A rapid patter “blave/bluff” song for Miracle Max to si-actually I like that one. Disney, write that one down.
It’s a comfort, I suppose, to know that both Goldman and Walt Disney Chairman Alan Horn will be working on the show. Horn also worked on the original film. He said:
My involvement in The Princess Bride goes back to 1987 and it has always been close to my heart. For all those years and a few more, I’ve been friends with the brilliant Bill Goldman, and to now have a stage production of this film in development at Disney is honestly a dream come true. It couldn’t be in better hands than those of the experienced Disney Theatrical team led by Tom Schumacher.
I’m still very against this project. Disney isn’t exactly known for their subtlety. Of all their stage productions the only one that managed to capture the spirit of the original material was Julie Taymor’s The Lion King and that’s because Disney had the good sense to employ Julie Taymor. I’m not a fan of their stage productions of Beauty And The Beast, Newsies, Mary Poppins, etc. but I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see. Until then, I’ll choose the wine in front of you.