For a long time It is common to find films based on theatrical works, but what happens when the opposite is the case? This is a list dedicated to tapes that, due to certain qualities, became good options to delight the audience with spectacular melodies and choreography.

It is important to clarify that the projects included here stand out for being based on feature films that we would never have imagined seeing mounted in such a way. In most cases, they are films that on the screen would seem a bit unadaptable to the staging: however, when the structure was changed, everything worked magically. There are no limits to the imagination.

On the other hand, it is also interesting that, in many of the works, writers, directors or creators of the original film versions were in charge of transforming – with their own pen – their scripts into librettos. Some results were acclaimed and nominated for multiple awards. Others … were not so lucky.

Without more, We invite you to discover our selection of films turned into musicals.

Spell of time

movies turned into musicals

Tim Minchin (musician and lyricist in charge of works such as Matilda) was associated with Danny Rubin (screenwriter of the original 1993 film) to adapt Phil Connors’ wacky story to a stage set that hit Broadway in 2017. The production was unanimously acclaimed by critics and audiences, garnering multiple Tony nominations, from which did not take any. However, the effort was worth it, because in 2020 there were small representations even in Sweden – the same ones that had to be stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The structure of the musical Groundhog Day It is the same as that of the eponymous film, only with songs whose intention is to accentuate – in a comical way – the protagonist’s desperation to be trapped in the loop. Minchin dijo (via) that this version would be “instantly recognizable and totally different.”

You can see a trailer here

Shrek

movies turned into musicals

The famous ogre from Far, Far Away is also part of this list of movies turned musicals. The run on stage for the now classic Dreamworks story began in 2008 with an adaptation based on both William Steig’s original illustrated book and the film sequels. Here they did not hold back by incorporating the acidic and wacky mythology of fairy tales in full, achieving a magical and emotional spectacle for all ages. Perhaps the most striking criticism is the one that describes the set as (via) “The producers [de Mel Brooks], but more familiar ”. Let’s face it: watching the gingerbread cookie sing should be quite an experience. Until recently, a footage of the production was broadcast on Netflix in the United States.

You can see a trailer here

You may also be interested in: Best musical numbers in films of the 21st century

Catch Me If You Can

movies turned into musicals

In 2005 rehearsals for this adaptation began, which until 2011 would make it to Broadway. And it is that adapting the film directed by Steven Spielberg – and the autobiography of Frank Abagnale, Jr. – should not be an easy task. After all, this is a classic game of “cat and mouse” between a skilled con man and an FBI agent willing to do whatever it takes to catch him and, although it is difficult to imagine such a situation transferred to the stage, with choreography, songs and Music involved, it seems that the project had a good acceptance by the public, since on an international tour it toured cities such as Japan and Australia. However, the situation was not the same with the specialized critics, who had mixed comments, which pointed to the fact that, even with a libretto by the legendary Terrence McNally and music by Marc Shaiman Y Scott Wittman (Hairspray), the production relied heavily on generic melodies and sexualized female characters. However, the staging was nominated for four Tony Awards.

You can see a trailer here

Heavy girls

movies turned into musicals

When one thinks of the tape written by Tina Fey and directed by Mark Waters the idea of ​​seeing Cady Heron and the plastic ones singing and dancing is not frequent (well, at least not beyond their iconic Christmas interpretation). However, in 2017, the audience was presented with the most fetch that you could imagine. The music (Tony nominated for Best Original Score) was composed by Jeff Richmond and the lyrics (also nominated) are the authorship of Nell Benjamin (Dave). Another interesting thing about the staging is that the libretto was adapted by Fey herself. The reception got mixed comments, as there were those who felt that the intelligence of the jokes and dialogue did not quite match the melodies. Even with this, production remained active until the first months of 2020. It is striking that, recently, it was announced that the play will be taken to the cinema.

You can see a trailer here

Legally blonde

movies turned into musicals

Another of the movies turned into musicals. Elle Woods made the leap from court to stage in 2007 with a musical inspired by both the film starring Reese Witherspoon and the novel of the same name. Nell Benjamin also served as a lyricist. Regarding reception, this was also mixed, since the poor chemistry of the script and the music was criticized, but something that stood out in a positive way was the interpretation of the actress Laura Bell Bundy (The Sound of Music), who originated the role of Woods in theater. A year after the show debuted, a television show titled Looking for Elle Woods, where several interpreters auditioned to become the new protagonist of the staging. There were also Tony nominations here, but no awards were received in any category.

You can see a trailer here

Continue reading: Movies turned into stage musicals

School of Rock

movies turned into musicals

Comedy also has its place in this list, and with a proposal that is difficult to visualize: the film starring Jack Black in 2004, in which he pretends to be a substitute teacher of a prestigious elementary school to get the students to rock to the rhythm of the best bands of the 60s and 70s. And if that project choice was already too rare to adapt, who was in charge of the staging is someone who is not commonly thought of with a premise like this: Andrew himself Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera) saw the film and bought the rights, managing to move it to the stage in 2015. The reviews were highly positive and the set was even compared, in terms of quality, with The Sound of Music O Jesus Christ Superstar.

You can see a trailer here

Amelie

movies turned into musicals

The acclaimed comedy feel-good Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tatou is one of the films turned into musicals. The reviews were just as positive as those of the French feature film, and much of what stood out was the fact that the project maintained the charm of the original film, as well as that its production values ​​and cheerful score caught both locals and strangers. , since they perfectly reflected the imaginative and noble aspect of the film. It should be noted that this is a staging that fought to win over its audience, since, despite not being very well received in its first version, it managed to position itself as a favorite after experimenting in three different productions, the third being – presented in the UK – the one that ultimately garnered a lot of applause. It has a booklet of Craig Lucas (Reckless), letters of Nathan Tysen (Tuck Everlasting) and music by Daniel Messé.

You can see a trailer here

The big fish

movies turned into musicals

In 2013, the fiction and fantasy film directed by Tim Burton also made the leap to the theater at the hands of the writer John August (author of the script of the original film). This version, which also takes various elements from the children’s novel written by Daniel Wallace, began with small tryouts in Chicago and, a few months later, it made its Broadway debut. With lyrics and music by Andrew Lippa (The crazy Addams), the ensemble was moderately well received by the specialized critics, who responded positively to the imaginative and familiar colorful approach, as well as to the choreographies and the direction of Susan Stroman (Young Frankenstein). However, the lack of energy on the part of the actors caught the attention of several viewers. Despite all this, the play was compared to Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz and Homer’s The Odyssey.

You can see a trailer here

You might also be interested in: Musical films, the best

Back to the Future

movies turned into musicals

It is well known that, for years, both Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale have been reluctant to give permission for a reboot of his best-known feature film, the one in which a teenager and a scientist have temporary adventures aboard a DeLorean. However, while the idea of ​​a film reimagining was not to the liking of creatives, something that did catch their attention was the possibility of turning their story into a Broadway show. During a question and answer session in 2004 (via), Gale said he was excited to bring the film to the stage. Back then, it was just an idea on the air, but in 2020 it became a reality when the show had its premiere at the Manchester Opera House. With music by Alan Silvestri, letters of Glen Ballard (The Eddy) and a libretto adapted by Zemeckis and Gale themselves, the production recently ceased performances due to COVID-19, but garnered highly positive reviews, applauding the production values ​​and tributes to the original film.

You can see a trailer here

Rocky

movies turned into musicals

The last of the films turned into musicals is probably the one with the least theatrical qualities. In a movie scene Rocky (1976), Adrian asks the protagonist boxer: “Why did you become a fighter?”, To which he replies: “Because I can’t sing or dance.” Well, Sylvester Stallone seems to have forgotten that dialogue when, along with Thomas Meehan (Annie), adapted the script of his film to a libretto. The music ran by Stephen Flaherty (Seussical) and the lyrics are the authorship of Lynn Ahrens (Marie, Dancing Still). It is striking that the project was written in English, but for some reason it debuted in Hamburg, fully translated into German. Surprisingly, specialists were quite pleased with the result. And it is that, with catchy songs and an impressive final act in which the stage becomes a giant ring -making the audience feel immersed in a real battle-, it is sure to be an interesting experience.

You can see a trailer here

Broadway Musicals musical movies
José Roberto Landaverde Cinephile and music lover. I love writing, listening, reading and commenting on everything related to the seventh art. I think Fleetwood Mac is underrated. I’m a Rocky and Back to the Future fan and obviously one day I’ll go up the “Philly Steps” and drive a DeLorean. Faithful believer that the cinema is the best teleportation machine, and also that on the big screen we can all see ourselves represented.

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