By Ernio Hernandez, PlayBill Online
Dance of the Vampires and "Bat Out of Hell" composer Jim Steinman will executive produce as well as contribute songs to the upcoming MTV musical adaptation of Emily Bronte's novel "Wuthering Heights," according to an MTV release.
Following up their updated hip-hop musical version of "Carmen" (which starred Destiny's Child singer Beyoncé Knowles), MTV plans next to give the Bronte classic a modern take. Young film and television stars Erika Christensen ("Traffic"), Mike Vogel ("Grounded for Life"), Chris Masterson ("Malcolm in the Middle"), Katherine Heigl ("Roswell") and Johnny Whitworth ("Empire Records") are set to star.
Suri Krishnamma will direct the work written by Max Enscoe and Annie de Young. Filming is scheduled to begin in Puerto Rico in May and be aired later in the year. MTV Original Movies vice president Maggie Malina will serve as executive in charge of production. Malina stated "We have a tremendous cast of established talent along with some new fresh faces who we are confident are poised to be the stars of tomorrow."
MTV's "Wuthering Heights" will retell the story of siblings Cate (Christensen) and Hendrix (Whitworth) who live with their nonconformist father in an old lighthouse known as "The Heights." The family unit is disrupted when father Earnshaw takes in a homeless musical talent Heath (Vogel).
The Bronte tale has undergone musicalization previously in the John Farrar-Tim Rice musical Heathcliff, the Bernard J. Taylor musical Wuthering Heights as well as Bernard Herrmann's opera with the same name.
Composer Steinman is best known for his epic rock songs including Meatloaf's "Bat Out of Hell" album, Air Supply's "Making Love Out of Nothing at All," Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart," which was featured in this season's short-lived musical Dance of the Vampires.