If you caught Carole King performing with Sara Bareilles at the 2014 Grammys, you’d know just how timeless an artist King and her work are. Her Diamond graded pop-album Tapestry from 1971 is a masterpiece, and one of the best selling albums of all time. And though today King maybe doesn’t get the indie cred as some of her ’70s, singer/songwriter female contemporaries like say, Joni Mitchell, that may be about to change.
Broadway World was the first to report that Sony has just secured the rights to adapt the Broadway hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, along with King’s life rights, her songwriting collaborators’ life rights, and the rights to many of her hit songs including “The Locomotion,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “So Far Away,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” and “You’ve Got a Friend.”
Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Paul Blake (who produced the musical on Broadway) are set to produce the film and have secured Douglas McGrath, the writer of the musical’s book, to pen the screenplay.
Beautiful had its World Premiere in October of 2013 before opening on Broadway’s Stephen Sondheim Theater in January of 2014 and in London’s West End in February of this year. Since 2014, the musical picked up seven Tony nominations and won Best Actress for the Broadway production’s Jessie Mueller.
The Wrap had a quick mention last week that there was a competing project currently in development involving the life of King and several of her other peers, but unlike the mess that is the Janis Joplin biopic, which was just delayed again, the secured life-rights and the team of producers make Beautiful feel like it’s well on its way to the big screen.
The next question of course is who will be selected to play King. Mueller and her peer Katie Brayben out in London would both be making their feature film debuts if selected from Broadway. But The Dissolve pointed to a 2012 article in Variety discussing the competing King and Joni Mitchell movie, Girls Like Us, in which Alison Pill (The Newsroom), Olivia Thirlby (Dredd 3D), Ari Graynor (For a Good Time, Call) and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) were all being considered for the part of King. If Amy Adams ever sorts out that Janis Joplin situation, maybe she’d be a good fit.
Here’s the official synopsis for the show, via Broadway World:
“Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with Passion and Chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. BEAUTIFUL tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than BEAUTIFUL music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.”