A crash of drums, a flash of light. Now, Joseph’s coat will be in our sights, thanks to Elton John. Today, John’s production company, Rocket Pictures, picked up the rights to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s beloved musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, hoping to turn it into an animated musical. John will executive produce the film alongside Rice (John’s partner in writing Broadway musicals) and David Furnish (John’s actual partner).
For those unfamiliar with the tale from the end of the Book of Genesis or Webber and Rice’s lavish musical, Joseph tells the story of forefather Jacob’s favourite son, who received from his father a dazzling multi-coloured coat. After his jealous brothers sell him into slavery, Joseph finds redemption as a Pharoah’s assistant, due to his ability to interpret dreams.
The story of Joseph and his coat of many colours has already turned into a filmed version of the musical in 1999, which starred Donny Osmond and Richard Attenborough. The following year, fresh off the success of The Prince of Egypt, Dreamworks released the similarly themed Joseph: King of Dreams into the home video market. That animated drama had Ben Affleck in the leading role, although he spared viewers by not singing for the final cut.
With a rush of faith-based films entering the marketplace in 2014, such as Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and Ridley Scott’s Exodus, the timing could be just right for this musical adaptation. Due to the rise of moviegoing markets in European religious centres, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat could see even bigger box office success than The Prince of Egypt (which could be its sequel, given their proximity in the Old Testament).
Meanwhile, John’s presence as a producer seems to be flying high. He is currently working on Rocket Man, a biopic about his life starring Tom Hardy, and Sherlock Gnomes, a sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo and Juliet. There is no writer, director or star attached to this current musical as of yet, so as a famous Elton John tune goes, I think it’s going to be a long, long time until we see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat surface on the big screen.