11:52AM GMT 21 Nov 2011
Sylvester Stallone has teamed up with heavyweight boxing legends Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko for what is billed as the world's first musical version of Rocky.
Stallone said he had always envisaged creating a musical version of the 1976 Oscar-winning rags-to-riches story of Rocky Balboa, a down-at-heel amateur boxer who bravely fights the world champion in a bruising and bloody bout.
"I always had the idea of Rocky as a musical. At the end of the day, 'Rocky' is a love story and he could never have reached the final bell without Adrian," Balboa's girlfriend in the film, said Stallone.
"To see this story coming to life on a musical stage makes me proud. And it would make Rocky proud," added Stallone, whose Hollywood career was launched by the film.
The musical will incorporate many of the tub-thumping hits from the film, said producers Stage Entertainment, including Eye of the Tiger and Gonna Fly Now. The movie from then-unknown Stallone won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It also won the Oscar for Best Director (John G. Avildsen) and Film Editing.
The musical will be in German and so far casting has not been finalised. Stallone, who has previously sung on films and TV appearances with Dolly Parton and the Muppets, is unlikely to be cast himself.
The Klitschko brothers will co-produce the musical along with Stallone and train the main actors in the art of boxing, Stage Entertainment spokesman Holger Kersting said.
Wladimir said he and his brother had adored the films as boys.
"Seeing Sylvester Stallone in 'Rocky' when we were kids actually was the reason for us to start boxing in the first place, he said. "We are very excited to support this theatrical project."
Alex Timbers, who directed Broadway's The Pee-wee Herman Show and wrote directed and wrote the book for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (for which he was Tony-nominated as a writer), will direct, according to a promotional video released by Stage Entertainment.
Rocky - the musical opens in Hamburg, northern Germany, in November 2012.
Orignal From: Rocky The Musical is coming, says Stallone