New 'Billy Elliot' movie in development

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
Jamie Bell in Billy Elliot
Jamie Bell in Billy Elliot

Working Title are working on an adaptation of Billy Elliot: The Musical.

This revelation was part of an extensive Variety article on Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, the leaders of the London-based production company, ahead of the release of Cats.

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Unfortunately, the piece didn’t include too many other details on these plans, though. All it noted is that the duo wants to turn the theatre production of Billy Elliot: The Musical into a movie, which, as Variety explained, would complete “an odd saga that would see the story of a boy ballet dancer unspool on screen, then stage, and back to cinemas again.”

Written by Lee Hall, directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Jamie Bell and Julie Walters, Billy Elliot was released in 2000 and revolves around 11-year-old Billy learning and aspiring to become a professional ballet dancer in 1985 Count Durham, much to the chagrin of his coal miner father.

Musician Elton John performs with the cast of "Billy Elliot,The Musical" during the opening number of the 63rd annual Tony Awards ceremony in New York, June 7, 2009.     REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT)
Musician Elton John performs with the cast of "Billy Elliot,The Musical" during the opening number of the 63rd annual Tony Awards ceremony in New York, June 7, 2009. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT)

A critical and financial hit, Billy Elliot made over £73 million on a budget of just £3 million, and by 2005 its theatrical version had premiered on the West End. It has since won the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best New Musical and Best Musical, respectively, and has been performed over 4,000 times on stage.

Bevan and Fellner will be waiting to see how Cats performs at the box office before giving the green light to Billy Elliot: The Musical, though.

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If their £75 million ($100 million) adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved musical, which has attracted an awful lot of attention online because of its visual effects, flourishes then they’ll undoubtedly put it into production.

We’ll get to see just how well Cats performs when it is finally released on December 20.