Imagem, the music publisher and owner of the Rodgers & Hammerstein copyrights, announced today that it has signed a co-production agreement with Amber Entertainment and Chicagofilms for a new major motion picture version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical, South Pacific.
Denis Wigman, CFO of Imagem and co-founder, has had extensive experience as a film producer, involved in the production and financing of more than 40 international feature films, and will be leading Imagem’s role in this new venture, together with Ted Chapin, President of Rodgers & Hammerstein. “I am thrilled that Imagem will be a partner in this latest adaptation of South Pacific for the screen,” says Wigman. “We see great opportunities to reintroduce this timeless classic to movie audiences all over the world, and it is especially gratifying to work with such industry mavericks as Ileen [Maisel, Amber Entertainment] and 'Gosford Park's Bob Balaban.”
“South Pacific is extraordinary,” observes Ted Chapin. “It thrives on stage, but turning it into a new major motion picture is an exciting challenge. Inspired by the stellar production at Lincoln Center Theater, Bob Balaban and Ileen Maisel have seen modern cinematic possibilities that challenge us all to interpret this masterpiece for new generations of filmgoers.”
“Producing a new version of South Pacific,” says Ileen Maisel, “allows an audience to explore war and racism in a safe and engaging way that will ultimately bring greater understanding to these important topics of our time.”
“Our movie will be a tougher, more realistic retelling of the same classic story of two very different people whose love for each other transcends their enormous cultural differences,” says Chicagofilms founder Bob Balaban. “We think there's a whole new audience just waiting to fall in love with its magical score, epic romance, and exotic locale.”