Credit: Ron Batzdorff

More than two years after announcing Pretty Woman had set its sights on Broadway, original director Garry Marshall is sharing some details on how he’s adaping the 1990 rom-com classic to stage.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, he revealed the musical spin will keep with the film’s upbeat tone, but also take strides to deepen the storyline. He plans to reinvigorate both of the unlikely love tale’s central characters: Edward (Richard Gere), a cold but charming businessman, and Vivian (Julia Roberts), the tenacious prostitute with whom he falls hopelessly in love.

“I think it’s going to be a quite peppy version, the way [director] Jerry Mitchell choreographs. But it’s always nice to do something again because you saw what you missed the first time,” Marshall said. “I must confess that the original Pretty Woman was terrific and a hit, but I always felt that creatively I didn’t do justice to Richard Gere’s character. So in the musical, we have some great, new moments for Richard’s character.”

The theater version will flesh out Edward’s relationship with his father, cracking the strictly business exterior he brandished in the original movie. It will also reveal more of the impact his romance with Vivian had on his own life. “As much as he changed her life, she changed his life. That wasn’t totally clear in the picture. So we make that much clearer,” Marshall explained.

The play heightens Vivian’s part, too, solidifying her role as a strong, empowered woman. “There was a line that we had once in the Pretty Woman script [that didn’t make it into the film] that I think we’re bringing into the musical. When things are going well, Vivian said something like, ‘The letter V used to stand for victim. Now it stands for Vivian,'” Marshall said. “That’s a part of the new show, too. I don’t like women to be victims. It’s time we stopped that.”

He also confirmed much of the project’s main creative team: Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Hairspray) is set to direct, while Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance have been tapped to compose. As previously announced, he’s co-writing the libretto alongside J.F. Lawton, who penned the original screenplay, and Paula Wagner is helming production.

No premiere date has been announced for the show, but Marshall hopes to open it in the fall or spring of 2017. Read the full interview at Vanity Fair.

Pretty Woman
  • Movie
  • 119 minutes