Get ready for 'Movie: The Musical'!

155616__hair_l_1Once upon a time, Hollywood made musicals into movies. Now Broadway makes movies into musicals, and the returns are mixed. On the plus side of the margin, you’ve got bona fide hits like The Producers, Hairspray (pictured), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, and Spamalot! On the minus, you’ve got Footloose and the unforgettable Carrie.

Taylor Hackford apparently thinks the movie-to-stage endeavor is worth his time. The film director, Oscar-nominated for Ray, must have had his choice of projects after the success of that celebrated biopic. He chose to helm Leap of Faith as it makes the move to Broadway, with a score by Alan Mencken (Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid). (Leap, by the way, seems to be considered the ideal movie for a musical adaptation: The Steve Martin-starrer wasn’t that big a hit when it was released, but respect for it has grown with years of video rentals. This, according to an agency friend, is what the big-money producers are looking for: smaller films with stealth fan bases, existing musical components, and gestalts that adapt easily to live stage production.)

The Wedding Singer debuts soon, and with it, a renewed attempt to attract younger audiences to Broadway. But while that battle rages on up nawth, Disney is skipping New York entirely and quietly debuting Finding Nemo: The Musical at its Animal Kingdom theme park in Florida. Clocking in at just 30 minutes, Nemo would seem to be the sort of "stage spectacular" you’re accustomed to seeing performed by college kids listlessly busking in sweaty character costumes. But Disney’s sprung for Avenue Q composer Bobby Lopez — so is this a test run for a larger-scale production? The Mouse is mum.

Mum, but multitasking. The company is also developing its surprise Disney Channel hit High School Musical into a show. But not a Broadway show: Once again, Disney’s doing an end-run around the Great White Way and taking this one straight to the people. They’re not even mounting a production, but simply allowing the stage version to be licensed by, yes, high-school theater troupes. As the wise woman said: Very smart, Maria; very smart. Because, come to think of it, the best way to get young people interested in musical theater is to give them access to musical theater. Instead of, y’know, asking them to pay $100 a ticket.

So I put the question to you, readers: What movie would you pay $100 to see sung-through? And keep in mind, there’s already a Silence of the Lambs musical out there. (I’m not kidding.)


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  • mike

    There’s a pattern here today. Remakes, remakes, remakes. We could have a musical stage production of the upcoming Dallas remake. It would be the only reason for the casting of Travolta, J-Lo, and Jessica Simpson. Then, they would do a non-musical stage production of the failure of the movie.
    Somewhere out there, there is an undiscovered movie, band, TV show, book that is truly groundbreaking, but can’t fight though the Hollywood clutter. Please find that for us, EW and trim your coverage of the clutter.

  • Binky

    I’ve always thought that there ought to be a musical version of Pigmalion.

  • Kate

    I’d like to see a musical of Sixteen Candles. There’d have to be a really good song for when Farmer Ted asks Sam for her panties. :)

  • Ceballos

    Wow…i’m still recovering from that “Silence!” link…wow again.
    Anyway, how about a musical “Memento”…well i suppose he’d forget the lyrics midway through…oh well

  • Aramis

    Silence of the Lambs, the musical!?!?!
    Does it feature Hannibal Lector’s searing rendition of “Food Glorious Food!”?
    Sad to say, but the only interesting movie-to-musical production I’ve ever been interested in were the Disney ones (i.e. “The Lion King” and “Beauty & the Beast”). Other than that, leave it to the professionals.

  • dmac

    a musical version of “Save The Last Dance” or “Purple Rain”

  • Fred

    How about a musical of “Some Like It Hot?”

  • dan

    will Disney ever stop slandering the sanctity of the high school musical?!
    it’s bad enough that I had to do ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at my high school for my senior show.
    i pity anyone who excites at the idea of performing High School Musical.
    i’m still anxiously awaiting ‘Catch Me If You Can’ The Musical. No, seriously. I am. Marc Shaiman is going to tear that thing up.

  • dan

    will Disney ever stop slandering the sanctity of the high school musical?!
    it’s bad enough that I had to do ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at my high school for my senior show.
    i pity anyone who excites at the idea of performing High School Musical.
    i’m still anxiously awaiting ‘Catch Me If You Can’ The Musical. No, seriously. I am. Marc Shaiman is going to tear that thing up.

  • dma69

    Catch Me If You Can: The Musical? A Silence of the Lambs musical? Rogers & Hammerstein are rolling over in their graves as we speak.

  • Tosy and Cosh

    The already-in-the-works musical version of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. Composer Adam Guettel, who just showed how well he can do sweeping romance with The Light in the Piazza, and original novelist/screenwriter William Goldman. Perfect!

  • Miles

    not a movie per say, or it was a movie once upon a time. But can we get a staged version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the Musical, the first act can be a musical recap of the first couple of seasons, and then pick up the story with the awesome musical version episode… wow, this sounds ridiculous even as I type it, but I would also be the first one in line.

  • V.M.L.

    A musical to The Princess Bride wouldn’t be bad, but a musical version of V for Vendetta would be fantastic! (Maybe with some opera music to make it similar to The Phantom of the Opera.) Same thing for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I could also imagine Brokeback Mountain the Opera.

  • Danny

    Twister: The Musical.
    With such hit songs as “It’s the Same Cow!” and “Did You See That!?”

  • Nancy

    Silence of the Lambs: The Musical? That’s something to ponder tmorrow at work. I’m probably in the minority here, but I’m happy to read Leap of Faith is being made into a musical (although I have to say it bears a stong resemblance to Elmer Gantry). It’s one of my favourite non-comedy Steve Martin movies. Actually, one of my favourite Steve Martin movies, period.

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