Movie Musical Madness! (or,

g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
I'd like to play a game with all of my friends who love and adore musicals, movies, and movie musicals. You ready for the premise? Here goes.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are the head of a film studio. You have an unlimited budget, a blank check to make whatever movies you want. God, isn't that empowering! And as a fan of musicals, you want to get some of that money put toward a musical unit. But you're the CEO of a film studio, so you know how that goes. They wanna make Batman vs. Deadpool in Space, and Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, and Frozen II: Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Thaw needs a couple mil, and there's some jamokes pitching a movie about a group of leather-wearing accordion-playing lesbian polka fanatics, so all the money gets divvied up in a million different places except where you want it to be because of practical business concerns, and...

...when the dust clears, you've only got enough dosh to produce three film musicals this year. That's right. Three. So, how you gonna decide? Okay, this isn't hard. You've just got to establish some criteria.

And let's say, la the Hammerstein/Sondheim masters lesson in musicals, you decide on this form of judgment:

- Musical #1 will be a remake of a previous film musical. Either it failed in the sense that it wasn't a commercial hit, or it's one you think you can improve upon in a remake.
- Musical #2 is an existing stage musical, be it a hit or a flop (hey, you're the CEO, far be it from me to question your judgment), that has never been made into a film before.
- And Musical #3 is the biggest gamble of all: a non-musical piece (anything's welcome here -- think a popular play, novel, or film, anime, children's books, you name it) that you've decided just needs to be all-singing, all-dancing.

But just remember... you can only pick three. And, since the money's already being budgeted in a ton of places down to the last cent, the diligence people are going to go over every decision with a fine tooth comb, so... you need to justify your choices.

Let the games commence! >:)
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
Updated On: 6/5/14 at 02:45 PM
ErinDillyFan
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/06
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 03:04pm
#1: A Chorus Line
#2: Bonnie & Clyde (Wildhorn)
#3: The English Patient
Starship
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/12
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 03:11pm
Musical #1 - The King and I. With a killer A-list King and Anna duo, this could be an incredibly gorgeous and emotional film. I feel like Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, and Anne Hathaway would be great contenders. A second option would be Disney's Newsies.
Musical #2 - Off the top of my head, Bonnie & Clyde or Motown.
Musical #3 - I think with a musical score by Tim Minchin and Danny Elfman, it'd be fun to see Tim Burton direct a movie musical version of the classic "Where the Wild Things Are." It's a classic and universally known story that is right up Tim Burton's alley. It'd be very interesting to see his take on it.

Updated On: 6/5/14 at 03:11 PM
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 03:19pm
Now Starship's got the right idea!

To keep things going in, I'll chuck in three of my choices.

#1 -- Sweeney Todd. And I would do it as an animated feature. Hold your cries of protest and allow me to explain. This isn't Disney, DreamWorks, or even small potatoes like Universal. This one wouldn't play your standard wide-release cinema. This would be darker, maybe even an art-house flick. I'm thinking a style of animation that replicates what Eddie Campbell did in pen and ink with the graphic novel From Hell, stark, scratchy black-and-white realism. (The illustrations for From Hell are dark, fearsomely complex, and perhaps the most meticulously researched drawings I've ever seen.) There are two elements of color aside from the black-and-white pen and ink. Firstly, every time Sweeney slashes a throat, the blood flows a lurid red, dark and rich like wild berries, standing out against its black-and-white surroundings, sort of like the girl's dress in Schindler's List. (It achieves the same thing Burton wanted without re-painting the walls of the barber shop or overtly squicking out the audience. Less is more.) Secondly, when Mrs. Lovett is thrown into the fiery oven, we see all the intensity of that fire in searing color. Script-wise, you could get away with something closer to Hugh Wheeler, maybe lightly blotted a la the concert version, and not so drastically altered as to remove any of the humor or humanity. And, being an animated feature, you expect all the tropes that Tim Burton didn't think he could touch like, oh I dunno, ensemble singing; it's just assumed that it's what works, because that's a rule in the animated universe. (And Bernadette Peters would voice Mrs. Lovett, why not.)

#2 -- Candide. Never been made as a film before, and prime for using the medium of film, once again, to buff out the flaws and wax it into something perfect. My feeling is to do this episodic, picaresque tale as (again) an animated film, in the tradition of the "Disney Renaissance" pictures, but with the sardonic touch of Enchanted or Tangled (or, in a non-Disney example, Shrek). The script would be based largely on the 1999 Royal National Theatre version, which for my money is the best version of the show ever written, with some visual choices pulled from the 1974 Hal Prince/Hugh Wheeler adaptation, and the scoring based on the sumptuous 1956 original orchestrations.

#3 -- Merlin. I consider this to be an underrated film from my childhood crying out for the Euro/mega-musical treatment. In 1998, this was a 4-hour miniseries event hyped to death by NBC, a multi-million dollar sword and sorcery special effects spectacular (I believe it cost something like 30 million to make) and boasting an all-star cast (Sam Neill, Helena Bonham-Carter, Sir John Gielgud, Rutger Hauer, Miranda Richardson, Isabella Rossellini, Martin Short, James Earl Jones) to end them all, for that day and age. As film treatments of Arthurian legends go (and none can compete with Excalibur), I would argue that this is the most palatable for a wide audience. You get to see the tale of the legendary King Arthur from a viewpoint that was, at the time, rarely explored -- that of Merlin, the King's Wizard. In this film, Merlin is a creature born of pagan magic, living in a world converting to Christianity. Merlin is beside Arthur as he gains Excalibur, builds Camelot and is betrayed by his wife, Guinevere. Merlin and Arthur are both menaced by the plots of Morgan Le Fey, Mordred (her son by Arthur), and their cohorts. Through it all, Merlin tries to keep Arthur from the destructive path set by fate. I watch it and see the possibility for a musical there every time.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
Updated On: 6/5/14 at 03:19 PM
matttaylorr021
Understudy
joined:10/21/13
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 03:25pm
#1 - RENT - Make it darker/grittier.
#2 - Book of Mormon - It's going to be done anyways.
#3 - Now and Then - The movie from the 90s. Done with all hits from the 60s/70s.
adam.peterson44
Broadway Star
joined:9/7/11
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 03:31pm
2. Next to Normal - This musical needs to be captured on film, so that people everywhere can enjoy the beautiful score in its context. It can be opened up to the various locations (school practice room, psychiatrists' offices, etc.). It would (of course) be done with Broadway singers/actors who can do the score justice.

3. Pleasantville - This movie seems to me that it would lend itself naturally to a musical treatment, with songs fitting naturally in the moments when certain characters turn to colour, and also prior to that they can sing regarding what they wish they knew/were getting from life while they are still black and white. There would be great opportunities for chorus/dance numbers with the various town residents turning colour or before that they can sing about how pleasant it all is, as well as for big emotional moments (for example when the mom or daughter turn to colour). Doing it as a movie musical would also allow the turning to colour to remain (maybe it could be pulled off on stage with lighting in the moment and then costume/make-up changes in subsequent scenes, but i think it would be harder to do as a stage musical then as a movie musical). The source material is very clever and poignant and emotionally fulfilling, and would fit naturally with a musicalized treatment.

1. - harder to decide, but I would probably re-do Phantom or Rent and re-instate some of the more emotional songs that were cut from Rent (Halloween, Goodbye Love) and the music in Phantom that was converted to rhyming spoken words (hello!), as well as perhaps putting a lead in phantom who can really sing the part powerfully as well as having the sex appeal that Gerard Butler had (maybe Steven Pasquale?). If i have to choose between them for this year, I would probably go for Phantom and then tackle the cuts to Rent the following year.

Updated On: 6/5/14 at 03:31 PM
Starship
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/12
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 03:42pm
Another option for #1...Hunchback of Notre Dame. Directed by Tim Burton with additional orchestral music by Danny Elfman. Here me out on this one...with Scarlett Johansson or Lupita Nyong'o as Esmerelda.
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 04:12pm
#1 - RENT - Make it darker/grittier.

You don't know how much I second this one. Back in 2005, I was excited to see Rent finally being turned into a movie, with most of the original Broadway cast intact (look, I was 15, alright?), and I was optimistic about the film retaining the spirit of the play and being everything I hoped it would be. Sure, the rock opera in its original stage form was flawed, but I felt that the medium of film would be the opportunity to trim the fat, and give it a more realistic sheen.

As always, Hollywood let me down. Obviously, as TV Tropes would put it, your mileage may vary, but I felt that the film didn't live up to its potential. And so, having long been dissatisfied with the Chris Columbus version, I felt if I ever held the reins, one day I would do my own adaptation, essentially going back to the first draft of the screenplay by Stephen Chbosky (dated April 14, 2000) and crafting a new version of the film based largely on that draft.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
dtzumbrunnen
Broadway Star
joined:6/30/08
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 04:30pm
- Musical #1: Guys and Dolls - nearly 60 years since the original film version, a chance to pull back together some of the recent Carnegie Hall concert cast(?) and breathe new life into a film version of a classic that isn't held quite as sacred as something like West Side Story.
- Musical #2: Follies - a movie budget has the opportunity to bring the glamorous and haunting visions of showgirls past to life in a way that even the tremendous recent revival couldn't. Great female star vehicles as well.
- Musical #3: Obviously a book I treasured so much as a child, I hid it so we couldn't return it to the library and I could keep it for myself, Bigfoot Makes a Movie. Because...why not?
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 05:31pm
No one said you could limit yourselves to one year.

* Musical #1 = Hair. I agree wholeheartedly with the comments of the show's authors: the first time around, Milos Forman was not able to come up with a form that matched the play's revolutionary content. His disdain for the hippies oozes through the celluloid -- it seems he regards them as some sort of aberration, judging by their portrayal as oddballs, without any understanding of their motives, their search for truth, their commitment to the peace-love movement, their efforts to create a world based on human values. Other than some of the songs, the names of the characters, and a common title, that film is not Hair. That film missed the boat on the true message and potential of the original show. My film would be ideally be based on the American Theater Company's version currently running in Chicago. (If you haven't seen it, see it!) It would have a few cinematic twists as well.

* Musical #2 = Pippin. While it has been taped in (more or less) its original version for television, it has not been filmed. I feel the overall concept would be kind of like Big Fish or even (a slightly more sane rendition of) what Ken Russell did with Tommy, very heightened and theatrical. Script-wise, I'd stick very close to the Fosse version, with a lot of the Fosse material that failed to make it to the revival inserted, and the ending a slight compromise between the Fosse ending and the new "Theo" ending. The basic premise is that a young drifter in much the same circumstances as Pippin stumbles upon the show at a theater, and is pulled from the audience to become Pippin. Make sense (sorta)?

* Musical #3 = this is not based on a specific property, but I think a film musical based around the Kennedy women would be intriguing. The tragedy surrounding that family would make for some interesting subject matter. (Think Evita, but after kicking steroids at Betty Ford.)
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
jpbran
Broadway Legend
joined:3/8/06
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 05:40pm
1. I also would love to see "Hair" in a more complete form... "Cabaret" too, though Fosse's film version is near perfection; just "incomplete.' "A Chorus Line" too.

2. "Miss Saigon" which happen eventually anyway... it's the most cinematic of the big London imports.
"Pippin" as a backup...

3. "Something Wicked This Way Comes" seems to beg for musical-ization.
ggersten
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/06
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 06:01pm
1. Man of La Mancha. This deserves to be an amazing film.
2. Wicked. To make back the money lost on La Mancha.
3. Tough. I'd lean to a "classic" but the hue and cry might overwhelm any quality it may have, so no to Citizen Kane, Metropolis, Lawrence of Arabia, and Casablanca. I'd want some spectacle or wide open to really take advantage of what film can do. And even something with meaning. So, I'm weighing Catcher in the Rye, Catch-22 or On The Road. But, in the end, I will greenlight Risky Business. I mean, sometimes you just got to say....
madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 06:37pm
1) Mame - Something needs to be done to erase the pathetic movie with Lucy. There are several actresses who would be terrific in the title role, but I'd have to go with Toni Collette.

2) Follies - it would take too long to discuss the casting options, so I won't even go there.

3) The Count of Monte Cristo - why not?
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
Wickedlover56
Understudy
joined:5/2/14
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 07:07pm
1.A Chorus Line- I would make it a little more contemporary. The musical is a tad dated. Love to have a full orchestra do the score. Maybe the NY Philharmonic! They did great work on Company a few years ago.
2.Next to Normal- a This really needs to be a movie. It has a great score, and a book that if adapted right, would translate very well. The original cast would stay. I could only imagine all of the awards buzz it would have if done well. Alice could potentially win an Oscar! If/Then would be a backup.
3.This would be a dark, twisted version of Alice in Wonderland. It would be set in an insane asylum and have a score by Pasek and Paul. It would delve into a grown up Alice. She is schizophrenic and believes that Wonderland is real. This imaginary world would be the only happiness she experiences. The film would end with her committing suicide when she finds out that Wonderland isn't real, and the two worlds would combine into one bleak, horrific world.
Elfuhbuh
Stand-by
joined:3/23/14
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 07:15pm
1. Phantom of the Opera (No need to explain myself here. Have a PROPER DEFORMITY, for one, and make the movie darker and more in-line with the tone of the book.)
2. Next to Normal (The movie would be perfect. The typical hallucinations scenario seems to work well in the film studio.)
3. The Other Boleyn Girl (I don't know, I'm into those historical fiction novels. The whole novel was melodramatic for me, and I think that could transfer well into the musical medium.)

Updated On: 6/5/14 at 07:15 PM
Mr. Nowack
Broadway Star
joined:2/2/14
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 07:50pm
Musical #1: NINE - The original is so bad, but there is still a lot of potential, at least I think so.

Musical #2: SHE LOVES ME - It could be a grand old musical like they just don't make anymore

Musical #3: A THOUSAND CLOWNS - Why not!
I was previously known as Mr. Nowak (Joined: 5/20/13).
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 07:54pm
I've got other possibilities for #2 and #3.

An alternate #2 of mine would be Wicked. Screw it, might as well make a license to print money if you're gonna do this. And it would, yet again, be an animated film. A traditionally animated Wicked would be the perfect way to both avoid comparison to the classic Wizard of Oz by creating a unique and individual world for the story, and to pull off more creatively some things that would just require bad CGI in a live-action film. Look up the test artwork of animators Heidi Gilbert and Minkyu Lee if you don't believe me. It works.

And my alternate #3 is Suicide Kings. Hilarious feature film that I think would make a quirky musical for the stage, perhaps Off-Broadway, and then lead to an inevitable film adaptation.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
jacobsnchz14
Broadway Legend
joined:12/13/06
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 08:00pm
- Musical #1: HOW TO SUCCEED or RENT

- Musical #2: FOLLIES. FOLLIES. FOLLIES.

- And Musical #3: THE GREAT GATSBY, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (maybe not with dancing, lol, except for the last scene)
The Other One
Featured Actor
joined:4/1/08
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/5/14 at 11:59pm
1) MAN OF LA MANCHA: a wonderful musical with a classic score whose film version did no justice to.

2) CITY OF ANGELS: always thought this one cried out for a big, splashy film version, although the people I thought of casting many years back are now way too old for their roles. George Clooney would be great fun as Stone and Norbert Leo Butz should get his first major film role as Stine.

3) MY MAN GODFREY, and it will star Laura Benanti and be updated to reflect a not-all-white New York.

Updated On: 6/6/14 at 11:59 PM
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/6/14 at 12:21am
1. A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. How sad that the only filmed record is the Hal Prince catastrophe starring Elizabeth Taylor. Please, God, take the thing out of Vienna and put it back in Sweden where it belongs!

2. RAGTIME. The stageshow would be a superb movie musical-- we already know how great the story works in movie form; now add those gorgeous songs.

3. ARCADIA. Is there anyone who could musicalize Stoppard other than Sondheim? I know 3/4 of the script would be eliminated, but blending those 2 centuries would be heaven on film.

Ok, ok, the audience for all 3 of these properties is about as big as 1/2 of the readership of BWW and not a whole lot of others. But these are the movies I'D love seeing!
Gorlois
Stand-by
joined:5/18/13
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/6/14 at 11:53am
1. My Fair Lady. Because I have a personal crusade to avenge Julie Andrews.

2. Follies, of course.

3. I think "Gaslight" could make a great musical.
LYLS3637
Featured Actor
joined:5/1/09
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/6/14 at 02:16pm
1. Absolutely THE WHO'S TOMMY. I would love to see a legitimate version of the story as opposed to Ken Russell's "music video" approach.

2. NEXT TO NORMAL. Starring Idina Menzel, Hugh Jackman, Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin (Henry), and Zac Efron (Gabe- dubbed by Aaron Tveit).

3. I think WAITING FOR GUFFMAN would be really fun. The songs and general outline of the story stay stationary but each scene and its dialogue are improvised in the spirit of the film.
Wickedlover56
Understudy
joined:5/2/14
Movie Musical Madness! (or,
Posted: 6/6/14 at 11:54pm
City of Angels would make for a glorious movie if done right!!! Never thought of it as a film, but it seems like such a natural choice!