Michelle Williams approached for new South Pacific

The Daily Mail reports that producer Bob Balaban wants to make a new film version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s WWII musical South Pacific and has offered Oz The Great and Powerful star Michelle Williams the lead female role. Balaban wants Williams to play Nellie Forbush, a nurse who falls in love with Emile De Becque, a Frenchman living in the New Hebrides Islands in the South Pacific. The role was previously played by Mitzi Gaynor in the 1958 film, which also starred Rossano Brazzi as De Becque and John Kerr as the lovestruck Lieutenant Joseph Cable. Although the movie is in the early stages of development, it already has a script, written by Lynn Grossman, and a possible director in Michael Mayer. The remake will be closer to the source material, the 1947 novel Tales of the South Pacific by James Mitchener, and should tackle the story and its interlacing issues of racism and sexism with a little more depth than the original film. The casting wish list also includes Les Misérables star Hugh Jackman as Emile and Justin Timberlake as Lieutenant Cable. If the movie can land Williams, Jackman, and Timberlake, it could breathe new life into a genre that is still struggling to resurface from the past. ~Cassie Jasinski

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