It’s the classic story that has everything: fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles, and of course, some ever-quotable lines. Now, it’s heading to live theater.
William Goldman’s classic tale, “The Princess Bride,” has entranced and entertained audiences for over 20 years. It’s rare to find a soul that does not know that the proper response to “Inconceivable,” is “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” There are fewer still who don’t know that “as you wish” really means “I love you.” But for all the success that the book and movie have had, previous attempts to turn it into a musical have crashed early on in creation.
Now, that might change. Variety.com has reported that Disney Theatrical Productions is attempting to bring “The Princess Bride” to the stage, though whether it will be a musical or a straightforward play has not yet been determined. There is still no timeline set for it, as Disney Theatrical has plenty on its plate already, but the very news has got fans of the movie and book excited.
Of course, as with every adaptation, things will be changed in one way or another, so this raises some questions as to what will remain and what will change. We can in all likeliness expect the famous lines to remain, so there will be plenty of opportunities to say “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” In fact, they might even make an entire song about that, though there may be some difficulty in keeping the moment as powerful as Mandy Patinkin’s speech was in the film.
Personally, I’m also curious about two major scenes: the sword fight on the cliffs of insanity and the battle of wits. The former was a beautifully choreographed fight scene, the likes of which I still have yet to see matched. The latter was a scene in which the man in black (played by Cary Elwes), outwitted Vizzini (played by Wallace Shawn), in a battle of wits that resulted in a truly entertaining rambling speech by Vizzini. Any stage production will have difficulty matching those, though I would love to see the sword fight recreated live.
Though I admit, I would love to see a full musical number about the priests “Mawiage” speech.
On an optimistic note, there’s also the chance that a stage production will bring back scenes that the movie had to remove. For instance, when Inigo and Fezzik retrieved Westley from Count Rugen’s torture chamber, in the movie, they just walked in after finding the entrance. In the book, they had to work their way through the Zoo of Death, where all of the most dangerous animals Humperdink had collected resided to kill any potential intruders. Though that scene in particular may be difficult to bring to stage, a new adaptation means new opportunities to to try things the movie did not.
We’re still waiting on any news aside form “they’re planning on doing this,” so it may be too soon to get excited, but we can look forward to more news about it as it comes.