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BWW Blog: New Movie-Musicals: Hits and Misses

It seems like a new musical-based-movie adaptation is announced every day, but which ones are worth a trip to the theater?

BWW Blog: New Movie-Musicals: Hits and Misses

2021 boasts a lot of promise, and the upcoming releases and announcements of stage-to-film adaptations is just one reason why. In 2020, movies like West Side Story (dir. Steven Spielberg) and In the Heights (dir. Jon Chu) were pushed back a year to allow for better exposure, while The Prom (dir. Ryan Murphy) was released on Netflix in December to mixed reviews. So, what does the future look like for these adaptations, and which ones are worth your while?

In addition to films receiving different kinds of viewer feedback, the public opinion of the genre is questionable. Many have criticized the fact that some production companies seem too heavily concerned with putting big names on their movies, and not using fully the arsenal of Broadway actors. My opinion on this is split. If a movie-musical is associated with big stars and draws a large audience, the show itself will gain a greater fan base. At the same time, the actors that had workshopped and perfected their roles for a particular show are thrown to the wayside to make way for those big names. It's a tricky line to walk, that's for sure.

But, back to the upcoming adaptations. Here's a guide to all the soon-to-be released films to familiarize yourself before they hit screens.

1. IN THE HEIGHTS - This adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning show stars Hamilton alumni Anthony Ramos, as well as Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Stephanie Beatriz. The movie was ready to release this past summer but has been moved to June 2021. The trailer is electric, and you can watch it here: IN THE HEIGHTS - Official Trailer

BWW Blog: New Movie-Musicals: Hits and Misses

2. WEST SIDE STORY - I am SO excited for this one. Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler are star-crossed lovers in this remake of the 1961 film. Not to mention, breakout star Ariana DeBose (Netflix's The Prom's Alyssa Greene!) will be playing "Anita". The pictures that have been released are gorgeous, and we can expect this movie to arrive December of 2021.

BWW Blog: New Movie-Musicals: Hits and Misses

3. TICK, TICK... BOOM! - And here's where Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his second appearance. He's directing this movie adaptation of Jonathon Larson's show, which will star Andrew Garfield, Vanessa Hudgens and Joshua Henry. It's currently in post-production, with plans to be released sometime this year on Netflix.

4. THE LITTLE MERMAID - Also very exciting. Not only do we get Halle Bailey as the title character, this movie is stacked; Daveed Diggs, Awkwafina, Jacob Trembley and Melissa McCarthy also star. And, of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda is writing some new music for the movie (we're three-for three now.)

5. DEAR EVAN HANSEN - It did not take long for this hit show to be turned into a movie, and we're not mad about it. Ben Platt reprises his role as Evan, and is joined by Kaitlyn Dever, Isaac Powell and Amy Adams among other notable actors. They're wrapping up the process in post production right now, and although we have no pictures or trailers to show for it, I'm just as excited as the next person to see Platt get back in that infamous arm cast.

After a year like 2020, where theatre was changed forever (and at times, not for the better), it's pretty cool to see so many movie-musicals on their way. I think we all need it.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Grace Callahan