- Last Updated: 12:13 AM, June 26, 2012
- Posted: 12:10 AM, June 26, 2012
“Ghost The Musical” director Matthew Warchus won’t be moving on to a musical stage version of “Slumdog Millionaire.”
Warchus — who was reportedly in talks to take the reins of the project alongside “Downton Abbey” writer Julian Fellowes after producers broke off talks with Danny Boyle — is no longer in the mix, we’re told.
A musical adaptation of the hit film has courted controversy after its producer, TV mogul Paul Smith, made plans to produce a live show without the movie’s Oscar-winning creative team, including Boyle.
In protest, A.R. Rahman, composer of the film’s hit tune “Jai Ho,” refused to allow Smith to use the song in the musical, Page Six previously reported.
Warchus was then said to be in talks to take Boyle’s place. But sources close to Warchus say he’s now dropped out in solidarity with Boyle.
“He’s walked away from it,” said one insider. “He said he was not given all the information [when he was approached] and didn’t know about the problems with its rights. Once he knew, he immediately decided not to do it.”
Another source close to Warchus insisted he was never attached. “Matthew was never brought on,” the source said. “He had a cup of tea with [Smith]. Then he went on vacation. They had a meeting, and he didn’t walk away attached.”
Smith was an executive producer on Fox Searchlight’s “Slumdog,” which made $338 million worldwide and won eight Oscars.
But when plans for a stage version were hatched, Smith wouldn’t guarantee Boyle creative control. The rest of the film’s creative team, including Rahman, screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and producer Christian Colson, then said they’d only do the show if Boyle was involved.
Tony-winning Warchus, whose credits include “God of Carnage,” was also reportedly in line to take over another stage adaptation of a hit film, “Shakespeare in Love,” but exited.
Smith didn’t get back to us. He said last month that “discussions have been taking place, but the whole project is in an embryonic stage.”Follow @PageSix