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Top 10 Movies You Didn’t Know Are Becoming Broadway Shows

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
From the silver screen to a New York stage... For this list, we’re taking a look at popular films being adapted into Broadway, or off-Broadway, musicals, as of November 2018. Our list includes Hercules, Beetlejuice, The Princess Bride, Tootsie, The Devil Wears Prada, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movies You Didn’t Know Are Being Made Into Broadway Shows.

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Top 10 Movies You Didn’t Know Are Being Made Into Broadway Shows

From the silver screen to a New York stage... Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies You Didn’t Know Were Being Made Into Broadway Shows.

For this list, we’re taking a look at popular films being adapted into Broadway, or off-Broadway, musicals, as of November 2018.

#10: “13 Going on 30” (2004)

In 1996, the musical adaptation of “Big” danced its way onto Broadway. Two decades later, it was announced that Andy Fickman had been slated to direct a stage version of “13 Going on 30,” which also centered on an adolescent who’s transformed into an adult overnight. Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, who scribed the screenplay for the 2004 romantic comedy starring Jennifer Garner, are returning to write the musical’s book. Here’s hoping the show features a dance number set to “Thriller”! The original songs are being crafted by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, who worked on the music and lyrics for the musical adaptation of “17 Again,” which shares an eerily similar premise.

#9: “Clueless” (1995)

From “Legally Blonde” to “Mean Girls,” several cult comedies have received the Broadway treatment as of late. So, it was only a matter of time until we got a stage adaptation of “Clueless,” which has been envisioned as a jukebox musical. This seems fitting since the 1995 film not only had a diverse soundtrack, but also two of its main characters were named after great singers. It was reported in October 2018 that Dove Cameron from Disney’s “Descendants” would star as Cher in the show’s off-Broadway premiere. Of course, it wouldn’t be “Clueless” without the original writer/director, Amy Heckerling, who wrote the book for this musical. As if we need more reason to be excited!

#8: “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006)

Given its bleak story and shocking imagery, “Pan’s Labyrinth” might seem like unconventional source material for a Broadway musical. If “Sweeney Todd” taught us anything, though, it’s that not all musicals are jolly old times. Guillermo del Toro has been heavily involved in this adaptation of his 2006 dark fantasy, which won three Academy Awards. Also onboard for the stage show are composer Gustavo Santaolalla, who won back-to-back Oscars for “Brokeback Mountain” and “Babel,” and songwriter Paul Williams, who won an Oscar alongside Barbra Streisand for “A Star Is Born.” With a lineup like this, we can expect a musical that’s every bit as gothic, strange, and magical as its screen counterpart.

#7: “Hercules” (1997)

Since the early ‘90s, the house of mouse has brought “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Tarzan,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” and “Frozen” to Broadway. Disney has several more stage adaptations of their animated classics in the works, including “The Jungle Book.” The one that seems best-suited for the stage, however, would have to be “Hercules.” Composer Alan Menken mentioned in a 2017 interview that he was working on a stage version of the 1997 film. While he didn’t go into great detail, the movie has no shortage of songs born for Broadway. Between “Go the Distance,” “I Won’t Say,” and “Zero to Hero,” we can already hear the crowds cheering.

#6: “King Kong” (1933)

“King Kong” centers on a giant ape who’s taken out of his natural environment and showcased on Broadway. We guess you could say things have come full circle, as a stage musical of the 1933 film is finally hitting the Big Apple. This show started as a 2013 Australian production, which was praised for its astounding production values, but criticized for its book and songs. The Broadway version, however, has enlisted a new team of A-list talent, including lyricist Eddie Perfect and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” writer Jack Thorne. With previews commencing in October 2018 and opening night slated for the following month, we may be in store for a monster hit.

#5: “Beetlejuice” (1988)

“King Kong” isn’t the only screen to stage adaptation songwriter Eddie Perfect has been working on. He also provided the music and lyrics for this adaptation of Tim Burton’s wonderfully weird comedy-fantasy. While “Beetlejuice” is set to debut on Broadway in April 2019, it initially premiered in Washington, D.C. in October 2018. The pre-Broadway version attracted several seasoned stage performers, such as Kerry Butler, along with rising stars like Sophia Anne Caruso. Filling the titular role is Alex Brightman, who received a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Dewey Finn in “School of Rock.” If the show captures the movie’s humor and creativity, we’ll be dancing on air like Lydia. It’s showtime!

#4: “The Princess Bride” (1987)

While not a huge box office hit upon release, this fantasy adventure did score an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song and has since become a timeless classic. A stage version of “The Princess Bride” has been in the works as far back as 200 with Adam Guettel attached. Disney Theatrical Productions inherited the project in 2013, but director Rob Reiner mentioned in 2016 that the musical had run into some “roadblocks.” Reiner reached out to several talented songwriters, such as Marc Shaiman, Randy Newman, and John Mayer, but none expressed interest. Although they’re still on the lookout for the right composer, Reiner added that several lines from the movie are practically tailor-made for songs.

#3: “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006)

In 2016, Rockwell Table & Stage put on an unauthorized musical parody of “The Devil Wears Prada.” The following year, news broke that Elton John would compose the music for an official adaptation of the 2006 comedy. John is collaborating with lyrist Shaina Taub, who received a Jonathan Larson Grant in 2014. Paul Rudnick, who contributed to Miranda Priestly’s scenes in the original film, is also back to scribe the book. Although the movie wasn’t a musical, it did star several performers who have since demonstrated their singing chops, such as Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt. The stage show has some very large shoes to fill, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be groundbreaking.

#2: “Tootsie” (1982)

Centered on a notoriously difficult actor who dons a female persona in order to get work, “Tootsie” was a definitive movie of the 1980s, even earning a Best Picture nomination. This stage adaptation, which made its premiere in 2018 at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre, features music written by David Yazbek, who’s fresh off a Tony win for “The Band’s Visit.” Stepping into Michael Dorsey’s high heels is none other than Santino Fontana, who you may recognize as Greg from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and the voice of Prince Hans in “Frozen.” The Chicago production was met with a highly positive reception and with every step it takes towards Broadway in the spring of 2019, we can’t help but chant, “Go, Tootsie, go.”
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Magic Mike” (2012)

“The Bodyguard” (1992)

“The Notebook” (2004)

#1: “Moulin Rouge!” (2001)

Baz Luhrmann’s spectacular jukebox musical is widely credited for breathing new life into the genre on the silver screen. Why it’s taken so long for a stage adaptation of “Moulin Rouge!” to get off the ground is beyond us. Whatever the reason, the musical finally made it to Boston in 2018 with a move to Broadway scheduled for 2019. The Colonial Theatre’s production starred Karen Olivo of “Hamilton” as cabaret bombshell Satine and Aaron Tveit of 2012’s “Les Misérables” as writer Christian. With a classic love story, extravagant production values, and a track list of hit songs, few musicals have generated this much hype. Come what may, we’ll be standing in line on opening day.

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