July 1, 2022

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Callie Khouri Working on Stage Musical Version of “Thelma & Louise”

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Thelma and Louise are set to drive into pastures new. Callie Khouri, the award-winning screenwriter of the 1991 titular classic has revealed she is working with a number of collaborators on a stage musical version of the Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis starrer. “We’ve got a book and we’ve got music but because of the pandemic, we all haven’t been together in a very, very long time,” she told The Hollywood Reporter at a recent 30th anniversary screening of the film. “So, it’s still in its nascent stages, but it’s very promising.”

Referring to persistent questions over the years about the possibility of remakes of the beloved film, Khouri explained, “I didn’t really want to see it [happen]. I just felt like they [director Ridley Scott and team] nailed it. I’m not a big reboot person, anyway.”

Evidently, however, reimagining the film in the form of a musical is a far more interesting prospect for the writer, who gave away few details but described the new project as “a completely different animal.”

Theater director Trip Cullman (“Six Degrees of Separation,” “Lobby Hero,” “The Rose Tattoo”)  is on board as director, with playwright, and TV writer, producer and actress Halley Feiffer to write the script. Feiffer’s writing credits for TV include “SMILF” and “Kidding,” which she also produced, and her plays include “The Pain of My Belligerence” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City,” both of which have been directed by Cullman.

Indie singer-songwriter Neko Case is signed on to write original songs for the musical.

Khouri won an Oscar for the “Thelma & Louise” screenplay, with the film netting an additional five nominations. She since went on to create the TV series “Nashville,” a musical drama series about the lives of country music singers — on which she served as writer and exec producer — and helmed “Patsy & Loretta,” a biopic focused on the friendship between country music stars Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. She also has a story credit on the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” which stars Jennifer Hudson as the iconic singer.

Sarandon won a Best Actress Oscar for 1995’s “Dead Man Walking,” which marked the fifth time she was nominated for the award. “Search Party,” “Ray Donovan,” and “Feud: Bette and Joan” are among her more recent credits. Her upcoming slate includes Tanya Wexler’s action-comedy “Jolt.”

Davis won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1998’s “The Accidental Tourist.” The “League of Their Own” star recently appeared in “GLOW.” She founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004. The research-based organization works to create gender balance within the industry, and tackles negative stereotyping in family entertainment media. In 2019, she was presented with an Honorary Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for her gender parity.

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