The Last Unicorn, the classic 1982 animated film by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. (Best known as Rankin Bass, of The Hobbit fame), featuring art and storyboard work by Riverhead artist Don Duga, is going through something of a revival of late. A longtime fan favorite, the movie is screening around the world and is currently in development as a Broadway musical.
The film returned to its monumental 500-city screening tour (which began in 2013) with Peter S. Beagle, the author of the screenplay and 1968 book on which it is based, on Monday, September 29 in Orlando Park, Illinios. The tour continues with screenings around the country through December 20014, then tours Europe in January and February, 2015. It returns to the U.S. in March and travels to 15 states before going back to Europe in July and August 2015, and back to the U.S. in September–December, 2015. In January and February 2016, The Last Unicorn goes to Mexico and Puerto Rico and then back to the States in March, April and May, 2016, and then finally finishes with stops in Hawaii, Alaska, Japan, China, The Philippines, New Zealand and Australia.
Beagle begins each screening of this brand new remastered digital print with a pre-show book signing and ends with an audience Q&A session. The tour will also feature raffles and cool new merchandise, and audience members are encouraged to come in costume—the best ones will be rewarded. Visit lastunicorntour.com for tour dates and venues.
In other news, theater news source Playbill.com reports that Hollywood star couple Josh Duhamel (Transformers trilogy, Las Vegas) and Fergie (of The Black-Eyed Peas and “Fergalicious”) are also working to bring an “immersive musical adaptation” of The Last Unicorn to Broadway. A fan of the story since childhood, Fergie is expected to contribute to the show’s music and she’s already created several “musical motifs” for it, though a timeline is not in place for the production, according to Playbill.com.
The new production team is expected to officially close the deal for taking The Last Unicorn to the stage in the coming weeks. Rights to create a live action film version of the book and animated classic are also on the table.
Beagle, Duhamel and other members of the team bringing The Last Unicorn to Broadway are speaking at a special panel at the 92nd Street Y during New York Comic Con on Sunday, October 12.