Do-re-mi-fa dys-en-ter-y! A musical adaptation of the classic computer game “The Oregon Trail” is in the works from the team behind “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.”
In an interview with Collider, filmmakers Will Speck and Josh Gordon shared that they have been collaborating with their “Lyle, Lyle” songwriting team Pasek and Paul (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), working to crack a darkly comedic musical version of the video game.
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Although no studio is currently attached, the group shared that it has obtained the rights to “The Oregon Trail” from HarperCollins Productions and has been working with the banner, though Speck and Gordon do not solely control the rights. The report states that the project is in “active development.”
“People are very protective of their IP as they should be,” Speck said. “These guys have so far been great partners in allowing us to take it and run with it. Also, we’ve made them producing partners, basically.”
Speck and Gordon shared that Pasek and Paul offered the idea of adapting “The Oregon Trail” after the directing duo stated that they “really want to do another musical.” Considering the morbid source material, the filmmakers also shared that they are weighing whether the project should be developed for an R-rating or aim for something less graphic.
“[The game] always had this dark band of humor running through it, because your chances of dying from everything from dysentery to a cut to anything was… Basically, every move you ended up dying,” Gordon shared. “[We’re] returning a little bit to our roots in comedy, marrying it with the fun of doing a big musical, and also just the ambition of taking that very seriously as well and making a big historical westward expansion epic that’s also about dying from dysentery.”
Representatives for Speck and Gordon were not immediately available for further comment.
“The Oregon Trail” first released in 1974, designed as an educational computer game for students to learn the circumstances of 19th-century pioneer migration. The series has since spawned numerous sequels over the years across various platforms, with the most recent published by Apple in 2021.
Pasek and Paul are one of the most-established songwriting duos in the entertainment industry, having penned music for “La La Land” and “The Greatest Showman,” as well as writing two new songs for the film adaptation of their stage musical “Dear Evan Hansen.”
“Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” hits theaters on Friday.
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