Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Ghost returns to haunt West End

Patrick Swayze
The 1990 hit film starred Patrick Swayze as Sam Wheat

A stage musical based on the hit film Ghost is heading to the West End.

Eurythmics founder Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard are writing the music and lyrics for the production, which is expected to open next year.

The Oscar-winning film starred Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore as Sam and Molly, whose happiness is ripped apart when Sam is murdered.

Their iconic love scene at a potter's wheel was famously performed to The Righteous Brother's Unchained Melody.

Bruce Joel Rubin, who won an Oscar for his screenplay for the film, is adapting it for the stage, to be directed by Matthew Warchus.

Warchus said: "Ghost was a landmark film. An unexpected combination of supernatural thriller and romance entwined. It is the kind of powerful, direct and uplifting story which lends itself well to being reborn as a musical.

[It] is going to be a great gift to people who love the film and a true present to those who have never seen it.
Bruce Joel Rubin, musical adaptor

"The melodic strength and exciting driving energy of Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard's music will, I believe, provide exactly the right added engine to the narrative, playing a key role in refreshing the source material for a new audience."

The 1990 film was a huge hit at the box office, and also starred Whoopi Goldberg as a psychic Oda Mae Brown, through whom Sam tries to communicate with Molly.

'Great experience'

Rubin said: "Writing the movie Ghost has been, from conception to winning the Oscar, the most joyful experience of my film career.

"The opportunity to give it new life as a musical, to see Molly and Sam come alive again, to see their souls soar with song, is proving to be one of the great experiences of my life.

"Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard have helped me reshape my words and added brilliant new lyrics of their own. We have become true collaborators. I am thrilled to be working with two of the most celebrated musicians of our time.

"Watching it emerge through Matthew's vision, I know, is going to be a great gift to people who love the film and a true present to those who have never seen it."

The musical comes hot on the heels of Swayze's 1987 film Dirty Dancing, which has been a huge hit in the West End.

It took 11m in advance ticket sales before its official opening in 2006.

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