Disney Studios is teaming up with Ice Cube and Tommy Kail, the Tony-winning director of Hamilton, for a modern and musical take on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.
Marc Platt, the veteran movie producer who was also behind Broadway’s hit musical Wicked, and Jeff Kwatinetz are producing. Cube will also produce via his CubeVision banner.
Twist is one of Dickens’ most famous works and tells of an orphan boy who moves from a life as an exploited child laborer to being under the wings of Fagin, a leader of a gang of London pickpockets. Hardship, murders and secrets waiting-to-be-revealed follow the boy.
The popular story was already adapted by Disney as an animated movie, 1988’s Oliver and Company. But perhaps the biggest impact on popular culture has been through the never-ending iterations of the stage musical Oliver!
The new Oliver will be a modern musical with sources describing it as crossing many genres, including hip-hop. Cube and Kwatinetz are writing the treatment with Cube attached to play Fagin.
The project is in able hands with Cube, the former co-founder of seminal rap group N.W.A now turned actor and producer. Cube next stars in Fist Fight, the New Line comedy that opens Feb. 17, 2017.
Kail is known for collaborating with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the rapper-composer’s musicals In the Heights and Hamilton. He also directed Grease Live!, Fox Television’s live take on the classic movie musical that starred Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens.
Cube is repped by UTA, the Firm and Ziffren Brittenham. Kail is repped by WME.
This article originally appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.