9 Movie Musicals on the Way

Now that Les Miserables has finally been released it feels like there’s a bit of a musical void happening in moviedom, amirite? There are only so many Live Met Operas the cinema-going public can stand. Not to fear, Willis, while there’s not much coming our way this year there are quite a few big screen musical adaptations in the pipeline.

AMERICAN IDIOTAmerican Idiot BroadwayRemember when this Green Day album was absolutely huge? It’s one of those weird experimentally thematic albums which worked in the real world and the charts loved it. Since the album itself follows a pretty straightforward storyline and theme it’s not really surprising that they’d turn it in to a musical. While the Broadway show opened to mixed reviews people seemed to love the idea and it went on to win a couple of Tonys, a Grammy and play to over 500,000 people, grossing $39 million. Now Universal is interested in turning the stage show into a musical movie with Green Day frontman Billy Joe Armstrong in the lead roll and St. Jimmy. There’s been no official update to this project in a while other than BJA saying that he hadn’t fully committed to the role yet.

Annie on Broadway
Annie is one of those classics that people will always feel the need to update and tinker with, like Oliver Twist. The latest details on this one is that previously announced Willow Smith will not be playing Annie but instead one of the youngest Academy Award nominees in history and Moot Award for Funnest Name to Say recipient Quvenzhané Wallis will take the title roll. Not sure if Will Smith is still producing since his daughter split, or if Jay-Z will still be around to do the music but I hope so. This one should be good, who doesn’t like QW?

The Color Purple on Broadway
Back in 1985 a book was turned in to a movie directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, and went on to win 11 Academy Awards. This was then turned in to a stage musical by the powerhouse that is Oprah. Now she seems to want to turn the stage musical into a movie musical. And why wouldn’t you? When you’ve got a story this powerful, a Tony Award-winning musical and the influence and resources of Oprah then you’d naturally want to progress the idea of a movie musical. The film is something of a pet project for Oprah, who has become preoccupied running an entire global TV channel so it may be some time until we see the film in cinemas. The last rumours had American Idol alumni Fantasia in the starring role. Just… don’t hold your breath

Wicked on Broadway
There aren’t many musicals in recent history that stir up such passionate reactions as Wicked. The musical has only been around for ten years but it’s been seen by over 30 million people worldwide and grossed a jaw-dropping $2.5 billion. Billion. With a B. So naturally Universal Pictures, who created the musical, would be interested in bringing some of the Broadway magic to the big screen. Talks of a movie adaptation have been ongoing since 2004 and seemed to be stalled but with the recent success of the movie version of Les Miserables the folks at Universal have said a movie could come out sooner rather than later. Fingers and ruby slippers crossed.

My Fair Lady
Well here’s a musical that just won’t die. For all it’s pomp and class, it’s still got one of those classically touching storylines. And in this modern age of movie musicals there’s a lot of room for more traditional fare. It’s pretty hard to beat an Audrey Hepburn movie but Carey Mulligan, Brad Pitt and Keira Knightley have been tossed around as possible cast members.

Miss Saigon
Miss Saigon is known for some of its spectacular set pieces, including the very creative use of a helicopter on stage, and was yet another musical movie project that depended on the success of Les Miserables to get off the ground. Now that Les Mis has experienced huge success all around the world it’s safe to assume that Hollywood will be grinding in to gear to get a big screen version of Miss Saigon in to theatres as quick as possible.

One of Disney’s biggest surprise hits in recent times. The original movie was well received by critics, adored by fans and jam-packed with so many Disney self-references the movie hit the perfect mark between a spoof and an homage. Amy Adams and James Marsden lead a cast who looked like they were having the time of their lives making the film. Of course rumours of a sequel popped up when the $85 million movie went on to make $340 million worldwide. The original cast have gone from strength to strength since the first movie, however and word on the street is Disney is having a hard time pinning them down for a follow-up. Unfortunately time is ticking and it seems like the Mouse might decide it’s better to leave the title as a one-off success.

Into the Woods
Here’s another Disney Theatrical production but this time they did the Broadway thing before the movie thing. This adaptation of an Italian opera with music and lyrics by Tim Rice and Elton John was always destined for success and so attention soon turned to the desire to turn it in to a movie musical. The movie was originally slated for a 2010 release with Beyonce and Christina Aguilera in the starring rolls (how HUGE would that have been?), but since then there’s been nothing of note announced by anyone. 😦

Into the Woods
This musical has been performed on stages around the world since 1986 and features characters from some of the most famous Brothers Grimm stories such as Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood. Work on a movie version is actually quite far along, with a screenplay complete and a cast rumoured to include Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and Allison Janney, with filming slated to begin in October 2013 for a 2014 release.


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