Out playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, best known for penning Moonlight’s Oscar-winning screenplay, has signed on to write a live-action musical for Disney starring Selma’s David Oyelowo. Cyrano the Moor will combine elements from Shakespeare’s Othello and Cyrano de Bergerac.
— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) September 25, 2017
Oyelowo will produce the musical, set in 19th century England, with his wife, actress Jessica Oyelowo.
It follows a long line of Disney live-action musicals—including last year’s Beauty and the Beast and the upcoming Aladdin—but obviously draws from more mature source material.
In Edmond Rostand’s 1897 comedy, Cyrano de Bergerac is a gifted poet and musician too self-conscious about his large nose to confess his love to the beautiful Roxanne. Instead he feeds sweet words to woo her to the handsome-but-dim Christian.
Othello, of course, is the tragic tale of a Moorish general driven mad by jealousy and the machinations of his frenemy Iago. Oyelowo garnered critical as Othello opposite Daniel Craig (as Iago) earlier this year in an off-Broadway production at the New York Theatre Workshop.
McCraney, whose play Head of Passes recently opened in Los Angeles with Phylicia Rashad, is also working on a series with Michael B. Jordan for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN.
No premiere date has been announced for Cyrano the Moor yet.