Should there be more original musicals? Yes. But I do love a good film-to-stage adaptation. And In lieu of many films that are soon be put to stage such as Frozen, Moulin Rouge and the most recently rumoured, although barely released, La La Land, I have chosen the top 5 films that I would love to see made into a stage musical some ways down the line. So here they are:
5. The Lovely Bones (2009)
So this is the only film on the list that isn’t already a musical of sorts, but I think it would work so well as one. It has the family dynamic that can be expanded further upon in the style of Next to Normal and/or Fun Home, as well as enough drama to ignite those tear jerking moments. And how amazing would the limbo sequences look on stage! Off the success of Dear Evan Hansen, I think Benji Pasek and Justin Paul would be perfect to compose a score of new material perfect for the Peter Jackson-directed thriller. The song writing duo work with an unparalleled ease and uniqueness, and write with meaning.
4. Pitch Perfect (2012)
I mean, c’mon, how great and fun would this be. A riff-off showcasing our young female talent would be that moment! Take the songs from the film, add some more material, maybe Lin-Manuel Miranda could contribute a clever mash-up??, and you’ve got a sure fire hit. And it already has a cast with a stage background including Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin and the sublime-voiced Ben Platt. And make sure to cast Rebel Wilson again, she was fantastic in Guys and Dolls last year and could definitely pull off another musical. And another thing, it was already directed by Jason Moore (Avenue Q, Shrek the Musical) so get him back too!
3. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Ok, now I’ve said this for the longest time. This has to happen. This brilliant and hilariously quotable film has the entire ingredients for a musical. It’s so natural to think of it on stage. In addition to ‘Come Little Children’ you could have Stephen Schwartz perhaps (he knows a thing or two about witches already!) to compose an original score to bring the Sanderson Sisters to life on stage. I mean, could you imagine Patti LuPone as Winifred. Done.
2. The Jungle Book (1967)
So technically they have tried this (not Disney). I tried to watch a bit online and couldn’t get through it. It was dreadful. Hand the rights back to Disney Theatrical and leave them to it. The people have wanted this for years and for good reasoning! This is one of the greatest Disney classics, it already has the iconic music (I mean, I don’t need to provide examples, you already know), the lovable characters and a great villain (who needs an epic villain song!). It’s easy, all Disney needs to do is enlist the uber-talented Alan Menken (they must have him on speed dial now anyhow!), get him to compose some additional songs and Bob’s your monkey’s uncle!
1. Sing Street (2016)
Well, what can I say about this film. It’s one the best films I have seen in a long time, possibly ever. It exceeds across the board – the music, style, cinematography, cast, compelling love story, and relevant themes/message: many of the ingredients for a successful musical. Gary Clark and Once director John Carney’s original songs are just amazing, I mean, that prom concert scene: wow! By the end I was crying with joy and sadness I didn’t know what was going on with my emotions. If put to stage correctly this could be a musical that runs and runs. It echoes the style of shows like The Commitments, Once and Sunny Afternoon, but has the potential to be better than any of those. More people need to watch this film, so if you haven’t already, get on it now and then try and tell me otherwise!