AP Photo/Charles Sykes
A long-gestating Disney musical received a big boost this week, signing on a “Rock of Ages” writer to pen the script while keeping the songwriters behind recent blockbuster “Frozen” attached to the project.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Allan Loeb will now write “Bob the Musical,” which focuses on a man who, after a sudden blow to the head, can hear the inner songs in other people’s hearts. Much to his chagrin, his entire life becomes a musical.
Loeb’s other writing credits cover an array of genres, including films such as “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” “Just Go With It,” and “21.”
“Bob” has been in the works for a decade, and has seen several high-profile filmmakers (including Adam Shankman and “21 Jump Street” directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller) come and go. But “Bob” has no doubt benefited from the recent success of “Frozen,” since its songsmiths, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (pictured), have been signed to write the music since 2011.
It sounds like an interesting concept, and its “Frozen” affiliation should help revive interest in the production. Here’s hoping “Bob” can actually get off the ground this time around.
Gallery | Disney Sequels and Prequels You Didn’t Know
- ‘Cinderella II and III’ (2002)
Fifty-two years after Cinderella lost her glass slipper, Disney released the first of two sequels to the romance classic. In 2002’s “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True,” Jaq the mouse is turned into Cinderella’s human pageboy and one of her evil stepsisters falls in love with a low-class man. In “Cinderella III: A Twist in Time,” from 2008, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother gets ahold of the Fairy Godmother’s wand and goes back in time to when Cinderella tried on the slipper (uh oh).
- ‘Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World’ (1998)
Disney has a poor track record of re-telling American history, so why not make a “Pocahontas” sequel and continue to get her story wrong? The follow up to the 1995 movie tells a Disney-friendly version of Pocahontas’s life in England and how she meets and marries John Rolfe (a tobacco farmer in real life, but diplomat in the movie). The movie ends with John Smith confessing his love to Pocahontas (in real life, he betrayed his promise to her and her father), and Pocahontas sailing off happily with husband Rolfe (in real life, she died soon after). Disney always has to romanticize everything — and confuse the heck out of kids.
- ‘Return to Never Land’ (2002)
Although many “Peter Pan” live-action reboots and sort-of sequels have been made by other studios, Disney decided to go back to Neverland themselves in 2002. This theatrically released follow-up takes place during World War II, as Wendy’s daughter Jane is kidnapped by Captain Hook. Surprisingly, this film actually opened in third place.
- ‘Mulan II’ (2005)
Things ended just fine in 1998’s “Mulan” when the titular character returned home and Li Shang stayed for dinner. But Disney had to keep going of course, and in the movie’s 2004 sequel Li Shang finally asks Mulan to marry him. The film follows the couple as they escort the Emperor’s daughters to meet their new fiances. While described as a continuation of the first film’s “epic adventure,” after fighting the Huns, everything else seems utterly boring.
- ‘The Jungle Book 2’ (2003)
“The Jungle Book 2” is one of the very few Disney sequels to be released theatrically before going to video, most likely because it features the voices of Haley Joel Osment and John Goodman. In this movie, Mowgli returns to the jungle — but nothing really happens, as he ends up back in the Man Village at the end anyway (well, that was pointless).
- ‘Bambi II’ (2006)
Sixty-four years after the 1942 classic, Disney returned to the sad motherless deer in the woods. The sequel (or, technically, midquel) takes place during the gap of time in the original, after Bambi’s death and before he grows up. While the film was a direct-to-video release in most countries, it was — oddly enough — theatrically released in Argentina.
- ‘An Extremely Goofy Movie’ (2000)
We all remember 1995’s “A Goofy Movie” where Max is forced to go on a chaotic road trip with his father. As if Goofy didn’t embarrass Max enough in the first movie, this time he goes way too far. After Max heads to college, Goofy loses his job and must return to school to finish up his degree. Obviously, he enrolls at his son’s school. No one wants their college fun spoiled by dad.
- ‘Stitch! The Movie’ and More ‘Lilo & Stitch’ Sequels
“Lilo & Stitch” became a giant franchise after the original 2002 film. The sequels first kicked off with 2003’s direct-to-video “Stitch! The Movie,” followed by a spin-off TV series, then direct-to-video “Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” in 2005, and finally 2006’s “Leroy & Stitch.” Who knew the little blue alien would prove to be so popular?
- ‘The Return of Jafar’ and More ‘Aladdin’ Sequels
That’s right — Disney ventured back into Aladdin’s Arabian Nights adventures twice, including “The Return of Jafar” in 1994 and “Aladdin and the King of Thieves” in 1996. Although Robin Williams didn’t voice the Genie in the first sequel due a contract dispute with Disney, he returned as our favorite wish-granter in “King of Thieves.”
- ‘Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas’ and More Sequels
Belle and the Beast return twice in both “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” in 1997 and “Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World” in 1998, both of which went straight to video. In the Christmas movie, the Beast turns into a Scrooge by not wanting to celebrate the holiday. The second sequel tells a series of stories each with a different moral. Who better to learn life lessons from than a bunch of humans turned into objects for their bad deeds?
- ‘The Little Mermaid II’ and Prequel
Poor Ariel finally escaped the terrors of the sea in the 1989 classic film, but Disney just had to toss her back in with the fish. In 2000’s “The Little Mermaid II: Return to Sea,” Ariel and Eric’s daughter swims into some dark waters and gets tangled up with Morgana, Ursula’s sister. But that wasn’t enough so Disney dove back in with “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning” in 2008 to recount the origin story of the young mermaid.
- ‘Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure’ (2001)
The 1955 classic about puppy love gets dug up again in Disney’s 2001 sequel, which follows Lady and Tramp’s only son pup Scamp. To no one’s surprise, Scamp turns out to be more like his father. In the film, he runs away from his family to be a wild dog and join a gang of junkyard dogs. Sometimes you can’t take the mutt out of the pup.
- ‘101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure’ (2003)
You probably remember Disney’s live-action remake and sequel of “101 Dalmatians.” As if those both weren’t enough they decided to make an animated sequel as well. “101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure” follows Patch, one of the pups, who gets left behind on his family’s moving day.
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