Thanks to Disney, we had the opportunity to talk to producer Barry Josephson about his new movie Disenchanted, sequel to Enchanted that’s releasing next Friday (November 18) on Disney+
Read the full interview below:
The Hollywood Handle: How did you reacted when they told you that they were coming back for a sequel, 15 years later, did you expected that to happen or was it something surprising for you?
Barry: It was very exciting to get the green light, to get the go ahead from Shawn Bailey but I’ll say that I tried very hard to have the sequel be made and developing it and that’s what you have to do when you’re a producer but I’ll say once Disney agreed to do it, it was such a great journey, Shawn was so supportive, Sam Dickerman was so supportive, it was very fortunate to have a great team at Disney around me to put together the sequel.
The Hollywood Handle: When the first movie released back in 2007, was it surprising for you for the movie to be as successful as it was? Or did you expected that since the beginning?
Barry: No, I always hoped it to be that successful but I didn’t knew it would do as well as it did, and specially internationally did so well and I think that comes from the strength of the movie itself, I think Disney did a very good job marketing the original movie but I also think that the movie had comedy, dance and a very strong concept of bringing a character from animation into our world and then seeing what it would manifest and happen so we first thought we had a really strong concept I believe that from the very beginning from Bill Kelly script on through making the movie, that we had a really strong concept and that the movie would do really well and it didn’t matter what language the movie was in, it did well in any country, I think the concept was really strong, that and the actors did such a great job, you know, Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, and everybody who was in the movie just did a fabulous job, just their characters left from the screen was what really helped us, the dance, the music, I just think people really enjoyed the first movie so much and it played really well after it was first released, weather was on tv, streaming, whatever format it came, it helped to build an audience.
The Hollywood Handle: Was it hard for you to bring a new movie and try to make a whole new story, with new songs and at the same time make a movie that could reach the same quality as the original?
Barry: Well, it’s interesting as a producer, I always wanted the movie to have music, but the creation by Alan and Stephen, that’s completely on them, they did such a phenomenal job, so phenomenal that we were nominated to 3 academy awards, which it does not usually happens from a movie out o nowhere, you know, the movie just didn’t had any pre-awareness or expectation but they did such a great job as they always done in all of their music, the music was so strong and so memorable, in fact, the only negative was how many parents would say to me: “oh my god, please make it stop, my kids won’t stop listening to this song, over, over and over again.” and I think Happy working song, from that movie became that kind of song where people just loved hearing it, they loved watching the perfomance of it, but that credit go completely to Menken and Schwartz which did such a phenomenal job. They really crafted the music that worked conceptually for the movie, it grew characters and it moved the story along, it was everything you could want from a song, it was integral, organic and really conceptual, they were great songs.
The Hollywood Handle: Now that Disney+ came and Disney is expending they’re ways to release projects, not only theaters, do you plan on doing another sequel to this franchise or maybe a spin-off show?
Barry: Yes, I mean, we thought quite a bit what a sequel to Disenchanted would be, and we also thought about what a television show of this movie would be, an animated show of this movie, and so for me as a producer I always have ideas on my mind about what could grow and come from the movie but I think it’ll be up to Disney to see what they would like to see it happen.
The Hollywood Handle: Do you have any source of inspiration when making these movies? Like something that inspired you to produce this type of content?
Barry: Sure, I mean, I grew up on musicals, on stage, I grew up on New York City so I went to see a lot of musicals, my grandmother loved theater and she took me to some great musicals, I kind of grew up with musical movies and musicals in general and, you know, I loved that, you know, from “Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers” to Jim Kelly to “Singing In The Rain” and then when movies took on great musics, “Greace”, those were the movies I truly loved, so I grew up on that world and really believe in it so developing ‘Enchanted’, for me it was easy because I definitely could imagine seeing the music man when I was young and just understanding how music can be so entertaining, an advance story, advance character and your heart can open up to tell another story through song so for me that was my dream of that first movie, and again, Alan Menken was sort of my partner, was almost like having a co-producer because he embraced the script, he told me what he thought the songs could be and with Schwartz was the same thing, working with that first director, it was easy to imagine, and for me, a great opportunity to take everything I learned as a kid, as a teenager, as a young adult into that film, and by the time we got to ‘Disenchanted’ it was very easy to work with them, Adam was such a really good choreographer and such a great director, you know, to work with someone who understood music so well and knew how to execute it so well, so it just been a joy in both movies.
We want to thank again Disney for the opportunity and be sure to check out Disenchanted releasing next Friday on Disney+