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Famed ‘Sound of Music’ von Trapp family developing TV drama

The hills are still alive with the sound of music.

The famous von Trapp family from “The Sound of Music” is developing a dramatic TV series about their lives following the iconic movie, which is being billed as “The Crown” meets “This Is Us.”

The scripted drama, called “Baroness,” is being developed by Georg von Trapp’s great-great-grandson Myles von Trapp Derbyshire.

Myles is the New York City-based grandson of Georg’s eldest child Rupert, who was actually depicted as Liesl in the beloved Oscar-winning 1966 movie.

Myles, 38, tells Page Six, “There will be moments of conflict, as with any family, but most importantly there are moments of tremendous strength, hope and acceptance.”

A photo featuring the real von Trapp family from "The Sound of Music" warming up for a performance in NYC. Patriarch Georg von Trapp is pictured with his children.
The TV series would focus on the family after they fled Europe in the 1930s.
Bettmann Archive

Myles continues, “My family is anything but boring. There is a lot more story to be told. Things that happened after my family crossed that mountain, and we have since protected our story … it is the first time that anyone has done anything post ‘Sound of Music.’

“My family is very quiet, we were raised to live in a bubble … but now we are going speak up and share our story.”

Myles says the historical drama will be a world away from the Rodgers and Hammerstein-created musical and movie. It will instead be centered around the family of his grandmother Baroness Henriette von Trapp, who was married to Rupert, the eldest son of Georg von Trapp, played by Christopher Plummer in the Oscar-winning movie.

A picture of Myles von Trapp, wearing a black jacket and bow tie attending a 2021 gala in New York.
The series, which is being developed by Georg von Trapp’s great-great-grandson Myles von Trapp Derbyshire, is billed as “The Crown” meets “This Is Us.”
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

Henriette was confined to wheelchair at age 22 after suffering from polio, but was still able to raise six children, one of them Myles’ mother, Stephanie.

The show will be set in the period after the singing family fled Europe in the early 1940s and bought a farm in Stowe, Vermont, which became a guesthouse called the Trapp Family Lodge.

The family matriarch Maria von Trapp, famously played by Julie Andrews in the movie, will be featured as a character in the show, but her depiction will be dramatically different. The family insists that Maria was a very loving but strong-willed woman with a temper, and who was a powerful driving force to keep the family going.

A black and white photo of Myles von Trapp with his grandmother Henriette.
The story of the von Trapp family will focus on Henriette von Trapp, pictured here with her grandson Myles.
Courtesy of Myles von Trapp

Myles explains, “The thing about Maria is that she is a complex character, you can’t tell the story without her being part of it. She is definitely going to be a character in the story, but the focus will be on my grandmother and my mother. Georg will have already passed.”

The battle over the Trapp Family Lodge, which took place after the death of Maria in 1987, is also expected to be featured in the series. The feud was about control of and the profits from the Lodge, a 93-room, luxurious Austrian-style resort with 100 time-share units on 2,200 acres in Stowe, Vermont.

A photo of Myles von Trapp as a young boy with his mother Stephanie standing behind him in a white dress, and his grandmother Henriette seated in a wheelchair to his right.
The show will include the battle for the family’s Vermont property, the Trapp Family Lodge.
Courtesy of Myles von Trapp

It first went to trial in 1996, pitting Johannes, the president of the business and the youngest of the von Trapp children — along with sisters Maria and Rosmarie and brother Werner — against the youngest sister, Eleonore, their nephew George (the eldest son of Rupert), and 15 other grandchildren.

Johannes and his side bought out the other group for $2.56 million in 1995 when he reorganized the lodge. But shortly after Eleonore and their other group argued their shares were worth almost twice that amount.

Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music."
Myles tells us that Maria von Trapp, famously played by Julie Andrews, will be in the series.
Getty Images

In 1999, the simmering feud was settled by the Vermont Supreme Court which ruled that Johannes and his side must pay the rival faction around $3 million.

Johannes and his son Sam von Trapp still run the lodge and brewery, which was rebuilt and expanded after a devastating fire in 1980 that killed one guest and destroyed most of Maria’s possessions.

Maria von Trapp singing with her children circe 1950
However, he adds that Maria in real life is very different from Andrews’ character in the movie.
Getty Images

Myles adds that the show, which has been in development since 2017, would still incorporate the elements of hope and family unity from the original movie, saying, “‘Baroness’ is going to bring hope and comfort. We want to go back into your living room, give you a big hug and remind you that everything is going to be OK.”

The family has been working with head writer Rebecca Eskreis, known for “What Breaks The Ice,” and Jaclyn Alexis (“Revenge” and “Modern Family”).

While Myles insists, “The only person who could play my grandmother is Meryl Streep,” Eskreis adds of casting, “Because of the importance of the story and the family and how beloved they are in the zeitgeist, I think we would be aiming for the stars with this.”

The cast of "The Sound Of Music" posing together.
The show has been in development since 2017.
Getty Images

Eskreis continues of the von Trapps, “They are bold and extremely loving people. They have been through the ups and downs that all of us have been through in our lives.

“And in the same way that their family was an inspiration through the film, and of course the play, we feel this story will be equally as inspirational and relatable about a family.”

But, asked if this series could be a musical like the film, Myles quips, “Oh god no.”

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