Cirque de Soleil Launches Film and TV Studio, Will Team with Ridley Scott

Fans of the French-Canadian acrobatic brand Cirque du Soleil are going to flip for this.

Cirque du Soleil is launching its own film and TV studio with an eye to turning some of its most popular circus stage shows into movies and series. The first Cirque de Soleil Studio project is an adaptation of the group’s longest running show “O.” The circus will have help: Ridley Scott and his Scott Free Productions are on board to develop “O” into a feature film.

Cirque du Soleil Studio will be run by Susan Levison, a former executive of the WWE, CBS Television Studios, and VH1. She’ll be tasked with finding ways to adapt all of the circus brand’s shows into unscripted and scripted TV and film, as well as animated projects or documentaries. An announcement says the studio currently has several projects in active development, but beyond “O,” it did not specify how many or which.

Scott Free will take “O” to market. No specific details were shared about how it would be adapted, but the stage show is an operatic water ballet about a young Sicilian boy transported to a magical realm. The story is told through acrobatics, synchronized swimming, and diving.

“O” has been a staple of Las Vegas’ Bellagio since 1998, and has grossed billions of dollars across more than 10,000 performances. Cirque du Soleil previously released a documentary about the show’s making in 2007 called “Flow (A Tribute to the Artists of “O”).” Cirque du Soleil even released an original film in 3D called “Worlds Away” in 2012 that was made in partnership with James Cameron and released by Paramount. The film made $34 million at the box office. Cirque du Soleil previously partnered with Cameron on “Toruk: The First Flight,” an acrobatic stage show inspired by “Avatar” that ran between 2015 and 2019.

“We are delighted to be partnering with such a visionary and iconic brand that is Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group,” said Michael Pruss, president of film production at Scott Free. “We cannot wait to come together and bring the incredible world of “O” to the big screen for audiences around the world.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the vibrant and talented team at Cirque du Soleil during such an exciting time of growth and transformation. We intend to leverage our extensive IP library to create TV and Film projects that surprise and delight our audience,” said Levison.

SOURCE: Indie Wire

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