Musicals are making a comeback in mainstream media. Let’s take a look at several big titles hitting theaters soon.
Musicals are making a comeback in mainstream media. After the success of The greatest showman in 2017 it seems like every year has had at least one great musical that captures the attention of a mass audience, let it be good, like with Spielberg West Side Storyor really awful, like Tom Hooper’s Cats.
Either way, this recent resurgence of interest in the medium has studios wanting to produce more adaptations of classic musicals. Let’s take a look at several upcoming adaptations that are in various stages of development and are sure to please audiences.
From the brilliant mind of Tony Award-winning writer Jason Robert Brown, 13 follows the story of a clumsy 13-year-old Jewish boy whose family has just moved from New York to good old Indiana. The musical was the first Broadway show to feature an all-teenage cast and band and introduced the world to a new generation of talent. One of those young stars was Ariana Grande, who became, well, Ariana Grande. Of the musicals on this list, 13 will likely be the first that audiences will see, as the Netflix movie wrapped production in 2021. Netflix is no stranger to musicals with productions like Prom and the next one from Del Toro Pinocchio fill his list in recent years.
It seems like every decade has a musical that becomes a cultural phenomenon. In the 80s it was The Phantom of the Operathe 90s had those of Jonathan Larson To rent and of course for the 2010s there is hamilton. The 2000s had Bad, a hit musical based on the 1995 novel spin-off from the original book series and the 1939 film. While this film has long been trapped in production hell, the ball finally seems to be moving. In 2021, it was announced that 13 Alum Ariana Grande and future EGOT winner Cynthia Erivo would star in the film as Glinda and Elphaba, respectively. The project will be helmed by director John M. Chu who last summer brought In the heights to the masses and received moderate praise. There is no set release for the Marc Platt and Universal production, but filming is expected to begin in 2022.
Bare: a pop opera
Although this musical never made it to Broadway, it garnered a cult following and became a beloved piece of LGBTQ+ theater. Located in a private Catholic boarding school, Naked follows Peter and Jason’s relationship as they navigate hiding their sexuality from their religious peers. The show speaks Opera in its title seriously, as there is very little spoken dialogue in the production. While it may turn some people off, the music and lyrics by the late Damon Intrabartolo and Jon Hartmere are so captivating that even the most skeptical viewer will be drawn into the medium. Kristin Hanggi, who directed the original LA production in 2000, will write the script and direct the feature.
The purple color
The purple color has been making a lot of noise lately and things are starting to heat up for the new film adaptation. Based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel and Spielberg’s 1985 film, a musical adaptation took Broadway by storm in 2005. The production received 11 Tony nominations, ran for three years on Broadway and garnered superb acclaim. revival in 2016 that made Cynthia Erivo a star. The new film is produced by the original teams behind the musical and the 1985 film, including Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Spielberg and Scott Sanders. black is king Blitz collaborator Bazawule will lead the project which will feature Taraji P. Henson, HER and Corey Hawkins. The Warner Bros movie. is set to release on December 20, 2023.
We ride happily
We ride happily occupies a very unique place in Broadway history. After a string of smash hits, the late Stephen Sondheim embarked on his adaptation of Kaufman and Hart’s 1934 play. Unfortunately, the 1981 production, made up mostly of teenagers and young adults, was a big dud , as it ended on Broadway after only 16 performances. Over the decades, the musical has gone through countless rewrites and has become a niche favorite thanks to amateur productions and the Netflix documentary, The best worst thing that could have happened. Richard Linklater is asked to direct this film which will feature the talents of Ben Platt, Beanie Feldstein and Blake Jenner. The ambitious production will take 20 years to film as Linklater tries to capture the sprawling narrative timeline realistically.
guys and dolls
A high school performing arts favorite, guys and dolls is truly a staple of American musical theatre. This remake has been in the works for a long time, having jumped from studio to studio. In 2016, when 20th Century Fox was working on a new version, stars like Joseph Gordon Levitt and Channing Tatum were tapped to direct the film. Now TriStar Pictures has the rights and got a director in Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Beauty and the The beast). It would be the second adaptation of the classic musical, following the original 1955 film featuring the talents of Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine, Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons. While the original movie is near perfect, movies like Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s new version West Side Story showing that these classic tales can get a lot out of a cinematic revival.
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