From Goonies to Newsies, Know Your Upcoming Broadway Musical Adaptations
As the makers of multiple Tony winners like Spamalot, Billy Elliott, and Hairspray (among many, many others) know, adapting hit Broadway musicals from movies can be quite rewarding -- commercially and creatively. But since these days it seems like Broadway folk are dipping into the Hollywood playbook for just about any kind of material -- nun-themed disco comedies, '80s-set Adam Sandler pics, even the Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore romance Ghost, complete with potter's wheel cheesiness -- Movieline's got your guide to the five most promising future movie-to-Broadway adaptations to watch for.
Yes, that Dave -- the 1993 Ivan Reitman comedy starring Kevin Kline as the President of the United States and his everyman doppelganger is heading to the Great White Way sometime in the near future, courtesy of the original film's producer Lauren Shuler Donner. Donner has been developing the musical since around 2008 (along with Dave writer Gary Ross, who's currently filming The Hunger Games). Stay tuned for more developments, including word on whether or not Kline might reprise his role in song and dance.
From the producers of this year's Sister Act musical adaptation will soon come the Rocky musical, complete with Sly Stallone's blessing. Songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime) wrote the music and a spring reading went off so smashingly that the show might kick-off in Germany next year before hitting Broadway in 2013.
The first time anyone attempted to bring Stephen King's teen telekinesis horror pic to Broadway, it famously tanked and closed up shop after just three days. (A local reviewer, circa 1988: "The only thing terrifying about Carrie is that there's a second act." Ouch.) But in January 2012, 24 years after the Spider-Man-esque flop, Carrie will be revived in a reimagining by original writers Lawrence D. Cohen, Michael Gore, and Dean Pitchford and Altar Boyz director Stafford Arima. They're all gonna... clap at you? Let's hope.
2. The Goonies
While Lauren Shuler Donner is hard at work bringing Dave to the stage, her husband, director Richard Donner, is developing a Broadway musical based on one of his most beloved films: The Goonies. "Hopefully we'll have a good script maybe by the middle of this year, around September or October," he told Collider recently, admitting to the challenges of developing the '80s kids' classic for a modern (and all-aged) audience. "It's gotta be irreverent, and it's gotta be Goonies. A lot of people are pushing, 'Oh rewrite it, do it for adults,' I said, 'No adults go to see Goonies, but it's gotta be...' Anyway, it's a bitch." We're confident Donner will make it through, since Goonies never say die.
My number one most anticipated movie-turned-musical of the near future (and yours, I'm sure) is Disney Theatrical's adaptation of the 1992 Kenny Ortega movie musical Newsies, about a band of plucky young newsboys in turn of the century New York who do battle against evil newspapermen via song and dance. With a new book by Harvey Fierstein and music by original songwriters Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, the reimagining will reportedly keep original characters Jack (played in the film by a young Christian Bale), David (David Moscow), Les (Luke Edwards), and Crutchy (Marty Belafsky). If only the original cast members would reprise their roles! (Bill Pullman, you haven't aged a day in these 19 years.) Never mind that pesky Razzie award -- open the gates and seize the day! Newsies is set to open the 2011-2012 season at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.