Film, Theater
Jul 30, 2020

Disney’s Live Action Division Has Begun Work On Bringing ‘Once On This Island’ from 90’s Broadway to Disney+

Thats right, Disney+ is basking on the success of Hamilton, and they’re planning a live action adaptation of Once On This Island.

Image Credit: John Lamparski/WireImage; Santiago Felipe/
Getty Images; Courtesy of Bret Hartman

Playwright Jocelyn Bioh and director Wanuri Kahiu are developing Once On This Island, a feature adaptation of the 1990 Broadway musical that is based on the Rosa Guy novel, My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl. As opposed to Hamilton, which was a recording of a stage performance, Once On This Island will be a more traditional adaptation.

The story of Once On This Island is set in the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea reciting the story of a peasant girl who falls in love with an aristocrat. Against this backdrop, social class differences play out while the island gods wager a bet of what is stronger, love or death.

The one-act musical only ran a year but quickly developed an ardent following that continues to fan its flames today. A production in London’s West End in the mid-1990s garnered the Olivier Award for best new musical while a 2017 Broadway revival netted several Tony Award nominations and a win for best musical revival. Lynn Ahrens wrote the lyrics and the book while Stephen Flaherty composed the music.