January 30, 2004

Showtime Thinks 'Reefer Madness' Is Dope

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - The off-Broadway musical "Reefer Madness" is coming to television, thanks to the hopped-up folks at Showtime.

The comedic adaptation of the unintentionally hilarious, 1930s drug-scare movie won a number of awards following its initial run in Los Angeles in the 1999. It moved to New York in 2001, where it received strong reviews.

Production on the movie is scheduled to begin in April; an airdate hasn't been set.

The creative team behind the musical, writers Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney and director Andy Fickman, will preside over the adaptation.

"We are very excited about this musical, which I would describe as a cross between 'Grease' and 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show,'" says Robert Greenblatt, Showtime's president of entertainment. "It's ideal for premium cable because you will see nothing like this anywhere else on television. And the cleverness of the musical satire makes it both highly entertaining and sophisticated at the same time."

The movie "Reefer Madness" was essentially a propaganda piece, wildly overstating the dangers of marijuana as it chronicled clean-cut young kids who became depraved, homicidal lunatics after just a toke or two of the demon weed. The wildly over-the-top nature of the film has made it something of a cult classic, and the musical heightens the absurdity as it parodies anti-drug hysteria.

"Madness" is the first movie to get the go-ahead from current Showtime Entertainment head Robert Greenblatt, who joined the network last summer. Casting hasn't been finalized.

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