Independent music publisher Imagem has signed a deal with Amber Entertainment and Chicagofilms to co-produce a new film version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical "South Pacific."

Hilversum, Netherlands-based publisher Imagem acquired the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization (RHO), including the rights to the songs and film musicals of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, in April last year for an undisclosed sum (Billboard.biz, Apr. 21).

Release details or casting for the new movie version have yet to be announced. "I am thrilled that Imagem will be a partner in this latest adaptation of 'South Pacific' for the screen," said Denis Wigman, CFO of Imagem and co-founder, in a statement. "We see great opportunities to reintroduce this timeless classic to movie audiences all over the world."

Based on James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Tales of the South Pacific," Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical was first performed on Broadway in 1949. The most famous film adaptation was released in 1958 and starred Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor in the title roles.

It includes famous Rodgers & Hammerstein compositions like, "Some Enchanted Evening," "There Is Nothin' Like a Dame" and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair."

Chicagofilms founder Bob Balaban said in a statement that the new film would be a "tougher, more realistic retelling of the same classic story of two very different people whose love for each other transcends their enormous cultural differences."

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