20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Recently, The Walt Disney Theatrical Company announced that there would be a stage production of the long-beloved classic film The Princess Bride. This could present a worrisome situation for fans of the movie. People like me who still stop what they are doing and watch it on TV when I come across it despite owning it on DVD. Can they capture the same thing on stage? I’m not sure.
This production may be very, very hard-pressed to capture the whole virtual eye-winking at the audience the film did. There was a zaniness that lay under every line spoken, even in the so-called serious parts. Every actor in the film was practically jabbing their elbow into the rib of the movie-viewer: “This is so terribly, terribly serious. Right? nudge nudge” Plus the movie was cast perfectly, with it being nearly impossible to view any other actor playing the role. Can we really imagine someone different than Cary Elwes playing Westly? Who will play the beautiful Buttercup? Mandy Patinkin was magnificent as Inigo Montoya. Billy Crystal better make an appearance, as well.
I’m afraid, however, that there will be a scene in the play, with whoever is playing Montoya suddenly standing in a spotlight and bellowing out in song, “My name is Inigooooooooo Montoyaaaa. You killled my father!! Prepare to diiiiiiie/ No, don’t you… No, don’t youuuu dare bother/ trying to cry… just prepare to diiiiiiiiiiie!” (If this lyric is actually used in the play, I’d like to be contacted so I can get some royalties).
The fact that Alan Horn, the Disney chairman who played such a big part in guiding the movie along, is taking this under his wing is an encouraging sign. Also, William Goldman, the genius who wrote the book and screenplay for the film will be taking an active role here. If there was anyone who could get what would translate well to the stage, it’s these two. This allays some fears. Also, it’s not the first time a classic film comedy has come out well being translated to the stage. I’m talking of Spamalot, which rose from the ashes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It will be a wait-and-see situation.
One thing I know for sure, though. They are going to have to get somebody literally huge like The Big Show from the WWE to play Fezzik, No weaklings will be allowed to try to fill the late Andre the Giant’s shoes. Their pulling this off though, is not incontheivable…I mean…inconceivable.