| In our very first episode of the Meta Performance Show–in which Novus Global CEO Jason Jaggard interviews exceptionally successful, compelling, and impactful individuals in their fields–we hear from iconic screenwriter, playwright and novelist, Linda Woolverton. Linda discusses the early years of her career and her relentless pursuit of becoming a writer.
She and Jason talk about life transitions, career pivots, avoiding burnout, where she finds inspiration, and what comes after massive (commercial) success. They unpack the popular requisite of “staying in your lane” in any industry, and she gives us all permission to jump lanes despite it. Jason and Linda pull back the curtain for some of her most famous work – like Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, The Lion King, and Maleficent. With a palpable tenacity, she shares her relationship with art and the human experiences that connect us all.
Linda Woolverton launched her career as a writer with two young adult novels before she began writing Saturday morning animated television shows. That eventually led her to writing her first animated feature, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Upon its release in 1991, the film won the Golden Globe for the Best Comedy/Musical and became the first animated film to be nominated by for a Best Picture Academy Award.
Woolverton then wrote the screenplay for The Lion King animated feature for which she shares screenplay credit.
She went on to rewrite the script for Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey as well as contributing to the animated features Aladdin and Mulan.
Linda adapted the script of Beauty and the Beast for the Broadway stage and received the Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical in 1994. Woolverton was also awarded the Laurence Oliver Award for Beauty and the Beast for Best New Musical in the U.K. Beauty and the Beast ran in New York between 1994 and 2007, becoming the sixth longest running show in Broadway history.
Woolverton also wrote the Book for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Musical Aida which ran for five years at the Palace Theatre.
In 2008, Linda received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Writers Guild of America-Animation Writers Caucus for her longtime work in the field of animation.
Woolverton’s script for Alice In Wonderland directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, was released in March of 2010. The film grossed over one billion dollars worldwide and she became the first female screenwriter with a sole credit on a billion dollar film.
Woolverton went on to write the screenplay for Disney’s Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie. The film was released in May of 2014 and became a worldwide success.
Woolverton wrote the sequel to Alice in Wonderland;”Through the Looking Glass” and shares a credit on the Maleficent sequel; “Mistress of All Evil”. She also wrote the screenplay for an animated musical fantasy for Skydance Media.
Woolverton is currently adapting the Eloise books by Kay Thompson for a live action film.