Producers Ileen Maisel and Bob Balaban are hoping to take a big-screen trip to 'South Pacific.' Balaban's Chicagofilms and Maisel's Amber Entertainment are developing a feature production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein hit that will use all the play's favorite songs but give the story line a harder edge, according to Variety. "Our movie will 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," Balaban told Variety. "We think there's a whole new audience just waiting to fall in love with its magical score, epic romance and exotic locale." The Mary Martin-Ezio Pinza musical was an instant hit when it debuted in 1949; the 1958 film, which starring Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr and Ray Walston, was that year's top grosser with $36 million. According to Variety, Maisel and Balaban began pursuing the idea of a new 'South Pacific' after seeing the recent Lincoln Center revival.
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