HOLLYWOOD -- The success of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" has not been lost on British mega-producer Cameron Mackintosh. The man who made millions off such stage blockbusters as "Cats," "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera" is talking with Steven Spielberg about an animated version of Rudyard Kipling's classic "Just So Stories."
Mr. Mackintosh had mounted two small productions in England of "Just So," a musical based on the Kipling book, and somebody in the audience alerted Mr. Spielberg to the project. "Steven liked the music, thought it was a possible animation project and we're hard at it now," says Mr. Mackintosh, in town recently for meetings at Mr. Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. "We're going into a development stage and if everything comes together, hopefully it will go ahead."
Mr. Spielberg has long directed and produced the same sort of wide-appeal spectacles that characterize most Mackintosh shows, and the stage producer has even compared the universality of his shows to Mr. Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark."