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Broadway Musicals that should become movies (1 Viewer)

mattCR

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With the back to back success of La La Land and Greatest Showman, maybe now is a decent time to think about Broadway musicals that could become feature films. Ones that come to mind:

Book of Mormon
Wicked
Hamilton
Dear Evan Hansen
In The Heights
Avenue Q
 

Matt Hough

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I wouldn't count on The Book of Mormon being made into a film any time soon. The show has not played to an empty seat since it opened in New York (in 2011), and the touring companies are racking up multi-millions each year for its backers. Until it starts to show some slight signs of fading, I think they'll keep it away from the cameras. Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen are much too early in their runs to consider being filmed either. I'm sure they will be eventually, but not in the immediate future.
 

GlennF

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In The Heights was in Harvey Weinstein purgatory, but apparently they managed to free the rights before the bankruptcy was recently declared. I read yesterday on Deadline that the same thing happened to Pippin. With Greatest Showman and La La Land I hope they are willing to try more original musicals. Most of the recent Broadway adaptations have failed to live up to the stage shows.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I never want to see another film adapted to the Broadway stage. That makes very little sense to me, to take a film that's accessible to everyone, and turn it into an expensive experience that only a select few may partake in.

Similarly, I feel let down by the plethora of live musical broadcasts on TV that take musicals that have already been immortalized on film and simply repeat what's already been done.

But I am wholeheartedly in favor of taking stage shows which, by definition, could only play in front of small audiences who happened to be in a specific geographical location with a certain income level, and making them accessible to everyone.

I wouldn't necessarily be concerned that making a film would kill the Broadway box office of any adapted show, though I know that's the common thinking among the powers that be. But that seems a little dated at best or disingenuous at worst when Broadway these days primarily seeks to make shows out of existing properties for the sake of luring someone in with something they already know. So I would think that making a current hit show into a movie would actually encourage more people to see that show. Someone who wants to see Hamilton but has to wait two years for the next block of tickets to go onsale isn't going to be dissuaded from seeing the play by the existence of a film any more than they would by the existence of the soundtrack album. But someone who wasn't sure if Hamilton was worth waiting two years to be allowed to buy tickets for, tickets which are priced starting at $150 a ticket for the rear of the upper balcony, might be pursauded that the show was worth all of that effort and money to see after watching a movie version.
 

EricSchulz

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THIS!!!!!
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Mark-P

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...Someone who wants to see Hamilton but has to wait two years for the next block of tickets to go onsale isn't going to be dissuaded from seeing the play by the existence of a film any more than they would by the existence of the soundtrack album...
You're obviously not a theatre buff. :) Broadway shows don't have soundtracks. That's why we call them cast recordings.
 

GlennF

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I agree with Josh that the argument that making the film kills the theatre box office doesn't hold up the way it used to. Chicago has been running for years since the movie as has Phantom. Seeing the movie encourages some people to check out the show. Wicked will still be running when the movie comes out. Certainly it is not going to happen in the first few years of a hit show, but there is a point where it seems to boost box office.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I'd argue that one of the reasons the Chicago revival is still running is the success of the film.

Broadway prices have long since skyrocketed out of control. Face value tickets for most shows now begin around $100 a ticket. It's very easy to spend over $300 just to get a pair of regular (non-premium) tickets to a show. For that kind of money, ticket buyers understandably want some kind of guarantee that they might enjoy the show. That's why it's so rare for anything that's not an adaptation of an existing property to survive these days. It just costs so much to see a show that as much as I'd like to, it's hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars for something I might not like. There are tons of things I'd try if they were $20, $30, $50, but that I just can't take a chance on at $150.

Because the Chicago film was a critical and commercial success, that allows potential ticket buyers for the show to have an inkling of what they're paying for.
 

Jake Lipson

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Wicked is set to be released in December 2019.

While you are absolutely correct that it is dated there, I seriously doubt that Wicked will actually make the December 2019 date. Aside from competing with Star Wars (which may work out well, or maybe not, given that it has blockbuster ambitions), there has been no movement on it in a while. There's been no update since Stephen Daldry was signed as director. Casting hasn't even begun yet as far as we know. And, given that it's likely to have lots of visual effects and things to do in post-production, I would think it has to go into production this year to meet a 2019 date. I don't see that happening unless they get moving like, now.

The Book of Mormon will happen -- eventually -- but Matt is absolutely correct that they are in no hurry, nor do they need to be.

Miss Saigon has been in development for some time -- Danny Boyle was most recently attached to it -- but he's off making a comedy with Kate McKinnon, and then Bond 25, so nothing is happening on that at the moment. Maybe in a couple of years, after its upcoming national tour, they'll regroup and do it.
 

Matt Hough

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I know this will never happen but I would love to see Ragtime- The Musical filmed. Such a powerful musical with a masterly score.
I couldn't agree more. It was a masterpiece on stage, and I felt very privileged to be able to see the entire original cast on Broadway perform this marvelous work.
 

mattCR

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I think about it because of this.. a few years ago I saw "Hamilton" on Broadway - my balcony ticket was NOT cheap ($700) not counting plane flight; etc.

I'd love to take one of my kids to go see Evan Hansen, but with $400 tickets + plane fare, that is difficult.

I don't see a film version as diminishing or causing harm to the broadway version. They attract different audiences.
 

Jake Lipson

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I think about it because of this.. a few years ago I saw "Hamilton" on Broadway - my balcony ticket was NOT cheap ($700) not counting plane flight; etc.

I'd love to take one of my kids to go see Evan Hansen, but with $400 tickets + plane fare, that is difficult.

[sidebar]

Matt, have you considered seeing any of these shows when they come to you locally on tour? I saw Hamilton in February, and the ticket was $154.50 for second row center. I don't mean this to brag, but just to illustrate the price differentiation in different markets. Plus, it's important to always buy tickets from the box office or official sources like Ticketmaster. Secondhand scalpers are making a fortune on Hamilton, but there are more reasonable tickets for that and Dear Evan Hansen if you look in the right places at the right times. Dear Evan Hansen will be here in December, and I expect it to cost around $100, give or take.

[/sidebar]

I also agree that a film will not diminish a Broadway version -- as long as the Broadway version has played successfully for a while first.
 

mattCR

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Where did you see Hamilton for $154?!?! In Chicago it is sold out and tickets are higher than broadway right now; the tour that came to St. Louis was $400 a ticket..
 

Jim*Tod

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Sondheim's FOLLIES. Or maybe remake the ones that they got wrong the first time around... PAL JOEY, GUYS AND DOLLS, and GYPSY come to mind.
 

Matt Hough

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You mention SOndheim's Follies. It would be a natural for the movies with today's special effects probably being able to do wonders with the ghost characters interacting in the real world.

But Sondheim's shows have not been generally treated well on screen. Forum threw out way too much of the score; A Little Night Music was atrocious in lots of respects, and I'd love to see that be done correctly. When the orchestra played some of the "Night Waltz" at the ball sequence in Into the Woods, it was rapturous!
 

Bob Cashill

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Jesus Christ Superstar was smartly reconceived for live TV. I think that may be the way to go for some of these, like In the Heights.

Still surprised that Cats hasn’t made the jump. Animated or motion-capture seems to be the way to go with that. Yet it’s tricky. The older shows that aren’t The Sound of Music have little “brand recognition” anymore to justify a feature film adaptation, and the newer ones don’t cry out for it. I don’t really see the movie in The Book of Mormon or Hamilton, though we may get them.
 

Jim*Tod

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I read somewhere, and since it was only once source I can only take this with a grain of salt, which said in the early 70's there was to be a film of FOLLIES changing the setting to a Hollywood studio. The cast would have included veteran stars like Gene Kelly, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, etc. And the reason it was shut down was that Harold Prince wanted too much money to direct. Again.... this may not be true, but can you imagine Bette Davis doing "I'm Still Here"?

Otherwise... agreed... FORUM did not include much of the score and was otherwise ruined by Lester's frenetic editing... which is too bad as he had a pretty incredible cast to work with. The film of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC was pretty much a disaster on all counts.
 

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