The classic computer game The Oregon Trail is currently being adapted into a musical from the same team who are bringing “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” to the big screen.
Filmmakers Will Speck and Josh Gordon revealed that they’ve been working with their “Lyle, Lyle” songwriting team Pasek and Paul (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) to create a dark comedy musical version of the original 1974 video game.
A studio has yet to be attached to the project however, in an interview with Collider, the group shared that it’s in “active development” as they’ve gained rights to The Oregon Trail.
“People are very protective of their IP as they should be,” Speck told the outlet. “These guys have so far been great partners in allowing us to take it and run with it. Also, we’ve made them producing partners, basically.”
The directing duo, who’ve created numerous films together, including “Office Christmas Party” and “The Switch”, recalled stating their desire “to do another musical,” to which Pasek and Paul stepped in, offering the idea of an adaptation. Given the morbid material of the game, Speck and Gordon are debating whether they should develop an R-rated project or strive for something less graphic.
“[The game] always had this dark band of humour running through it, because your chances of dying from everything from dysentery to a cut to anything was… Basically, every move you ended up dying,” Gordon said. “[We’re] returning a little bit to our roots in comedy, marrying it with the fun of doing a big musical, and also just the ambition of taking that very seriously as well and making a big historical westward expansion epic that’s also about dying from dysentery.”
Since The Oregon Trail’s first release in the ’70s, it has inspired multiple sequels across many platforms, most recently Apple’s version of the game published last year.
Pasek and Paul, one of the entertainment industry’s most established songwriting duos, have written music for “The Greatest Showman” and “La La Land”, plus two new songs for the 2021 film adaptation of their Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen.
Speck and Gordon’s “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” hits theatres on Friday.