Ron Howard has won two Oscars; he’s directed acclaimed feature films; worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names; and even recently turned to directing documentaries.
But there’s one project he hasn’t tackled in his decade-spanning career — directing a musical. Though Howard did make one of his earliest and most memorable onscreen appearances as Winthrop Paroo in the 1962 adaptation of The Music Man.
While sitting down with EW to talk about his new documentary Pavarotti (his third to feature musicians as his subject), Howard revealed he’s developing an animated musical. “That’s just in the very early stages. I can’t talk about it beyond [that]; I can’t give a title to it – but I’m really excited,” the director said.
Howard pointed to the rich and varied playing field that currently exists in Hollywood, allowing him to dabble in everything from features to documentaries to television. “At this point in my life, my kids are grown, I’ve got a lot of creative energy to really explore and experiment,” he reflected. “I always want to entertain; I always want to try to make it be a wise investment for whoever participates, but I do want to keep exploring and taking certain kinds of risks myself. Given all the platforms and all the outlets, there are more ways than ever to pursue stories that I care about and one of them is the animated musical that I really hope I get to make.”
In addition to the June 7 release of Pavarotti, Howard already has another documentary, Rebuilding Paradise, in the works and is in production on an adaptation of Hillbilly Elegy. Not to mention, he’s attached to several television projects in development, including a long-wished-for serialized continuation of his 1988 cult fantasy film Willow with Disney+.
But he’s not slowing down anytime soon — and far more details about this longed-for animated musical are still to come.
Though if he’s looking for a full-circle musical project, maybe Hugh Jackman should give him a call…after all, he is about to star in The Music Man on Broadway.