NEW YORK – Neil LaBute might be more famous for his acerbic big screen satires such as The Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors, but now he’s trying his hand at a musical with what he bills as a re-imagining of the Lionel Bart musical Oliver!

Starring Aaron Eckhart as the eponymous waif, LaBute’s new version has been described by the director as ‘a harsh corrective, bringing back the horror to what is essentially a story about child abuse. But we still have the wonderful songs.’

Speaking EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec, LaBute said:

I’ve always been a big fan of the musical as a form and when I was talking to Aaron one night he just said, well why not? And then the search was on to find the right one. I had thought of My Fair Lady, because that would give me scope to look into the brutalities of misogyny, but then Aaron said we’ve kind of already done that. Then I thought of Frozen and the hidden subtext of homophobia and exploitation but Disney weren’t interested in my reading. So at last we came to Oliver! And I have to say I am very pleased.

Joining Eckhart’s Oliver, will be Vin Diesel as Bill Sikes and John Goodman as Mr. Bumble. Bryan Cranston will join the run as Fagin, delighting audiences with a horrifying insight into evil and such hits as You’ve Gotta Pick-a-Pocket or Two and Food, Glorious Food!

Oliver! will run from next Monday until Wednesday. 


NEW YORK – After the triumph of Les Miserables last year, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe are to join together once more in song – this time without Wolverine – for the modernist opera, Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach.

Tom Hooper will once more direct but this time he said he is not insisting the actors all sing live.

That was an experiment and like many experiments, it didn’t work. You still learn something but that’s in the nature of experiments. Philip Glass is our most important contemporary composer, after Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Many think that the repetitive singing style and the musical discipline required to perfrom Glass’s Opera will be a reach for Russell Crowe but Hooper has no such qualms.

I won’t lie. We did change some lyrics. In Knee 1. The lyrics originally read ‘1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8’, so we changed it to ‘1-2-3-4’. With Anne we had no such problems and I think people are going to be amazed by how she’ll win another Oscar.

 Einstein On the Beach will start filming in August.