Sylvester Stallone turning 'Rocky' into a musical
Sylvester Stallone is getting back in the ring with Rocky Balboa one more time -- but not as a star. The actor is co-producing "Rocky: The Musical," based on the Oscar-winning 1976 movie that launched his career.
The star appeared alongside his co-producers, the Ukranian boxing stars (and siblings) Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, at a press event in Hamburg, Germany, where the musical is set to open in November 2012.
Inspired by the box office success of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," and surely not intimidated by the troubles that musical encountered along the way, Stallone and company are reframing the underdog boxing tale as a love story between Rocky and Adrian.
Tony-award winner Thomas Meehan ("The Producers") will write the book, while "Ragtime" lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty will handle the songs. "Rocky" purists shouldn't fear -- hits from the films, including "Gonna Fly Now" and "Eye of the Tiger," will be included in the show.
The 65-year-old Stallone won't be putting on the gloves this time, but he'll be active behind the scenes, along with producer Kevin King Templeton from Stallone's Rogue Marble production company and Johannes Mock O'Hara and Michael Hildebrandt of Stage Entertainment. The world champion Klitschko brothers will help train the performers in boxing maneuvers.
-- Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: Sylvester Stallone, flanked by Wladimir, left, and Vitali Klitschko in Hamburg, Germany. Christian Augustin / Getty Images