David Bowie and Cyndi Lauper are among a host of musicians who have signed up to write songs for a forthcoming SpongeBob SquarePants musical.
Bowie - who came out of retirement in 2013 with his album The Next Day -
has long been touted as a SpongeBob fan, something he was introduced to through his young daughter Alexandria. He even lent his voice in 2007 for the cinema release SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis,
in which he played Lord Royal Highness of the lost continent of Atlantis.
Co-creator and director Tina Landau, of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, spoke about the musical today. "We're taking our leads from the TV show but this is an original story, with an original design approach, and original songs written just for the occasion by an amazing array of songwriters." Other names involved in the project include John Legend, Lady Antebellum and The Flaming Lips.
Russell Hicks, president of content development and production at Nickelodeon, where the show has aired since 1999, also said: "The innovation (Landau) is bringing to the staging is matched with an equally fun and surprising set of original songs we've culled from a dream team of SpongeBob fans who happen to be top-flight musical artists."
Bowie is currently working with the New York Theatre Workshop on a musical based on his 1976 movie The Man Who Fell To Earth
, for which he is writing brand new songs. Cyndi Lauper is a Tony Award winning songwriter for the musical Kinky Boots
, which opens in London this month.
The SpongeBob SquarePants musical is expected to open in Chicago in June 2016.