In what could be a refreshing change of pace from the never ending stream of live-action remakes of animated classics, it looks as though Disney has a all new musical film project in development. Deadline has reported that Walt Disney Pictures is working on a project under the current title of Cyrano the Moor, with a script being penned by Oscar award-winning writer Tarrel Alvin McCraney (Moonlight) and set to star David Oyelowo (Selma, Nightingale).
Although not much is known about the project as of yet, it seems it will be a mashup of two classic tales, Cyrano de Bergerac and Othello, and set in England’s Bristol region in the 19th century.
A play written by Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac was written at the tail end of the 19th century and is loosely based on the life of the historic figure of the same name. A talented poet, musician, and duelist, Cyrano lacks confidence because of his large nose. Due to various complications, Cyrano ends up using his talents for poetry and romance to help a handsome yet simple man woo Roxanne, the woman he loves, writing letters on his behalf and speaking as him in secret.
Othello, the immensely famous classic by William Shakespeare, follows the titular Moorish general. The victim of manipulation by those jealous of his success, primarily his subordinate Iago, Othello’s life is brought to ruin, culminating in him murdering his beloved wife Desdemona. David Oyelowo recently played Othello opposite Daniel Craig, receiving praise from critics for his performance in the limited off-Broadway run.
Cyrano the Moor will be an extravagant live-action musical feature akin to Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. The original concept for the project was pitched by CAA agent John Levin in a meeting with the Oyelowo development team. Disney has since purchased the idea and given the job of writing it to McCraney. The film will be produced by Yoruba Saxon (A United Kingdom, Nightingale), David Oyelowo, and Jessica Oyelowo. Disney’s interests will be represented by Tendo Nagenda and Chaz Salembier.
Image: David and Jessica Oyelowo