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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#1
Posted: 7/3/19 at 3:54pm
Something came to me last night, something good.
I thought about how sensational Hadestown would be as a film. It is, after all, a sweeping, epic story that takes place in very distinct locales that could be stunningly realised on film. It would also provide an opportunity for the scenes I felt required large crowds (Chant, Build A Wall, Wait For Me Reprise) to be expanded. Chant is also a very cinematic number that takes place in many different places, something that easily translates to film.

I quickly wrote down what each scene and song would look like in my mind. Then I thought I should share this idea with the world. The BroadwayWorld in particular.

For information on how I would do each song (or certain moment) just ask in reply to this thread and Ill share it. I posted this to see if you all had any ideas for what a Hadestown movie could be. Cast, creative team, cinematography, etc.

No judging please. This site has too much negative mojo as it is :)

Aight friends, Ill be interested to see what you all Invision this concept that I personally adore to be.
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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#2
Posted: 7/3/19 at 3:58pm
why not just share your ideas now :)

also asking people to not judge..... lol good luck with that
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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#3
Posted: 7/3/19 at 4:05pm
Yeah, no. The only movie I’d want is a filmed version of the stage production with the original Broadway cast, as the filmed clips they’ve released on their social media have looked SO good.

Other than that, I think the magic of the show would be lost on film.
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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#4
Posted: 7/3/19 at 4:28pm

gypsy101 said: "why not just share your ideas now :)
 

 

Alright maybe not all of them at once but let’s just start with Road To Hell:

A small town. A street corner. The only place illuminated is a bar. The camera goes into the door when Hermes’s face appears in the camera.

”Aight?” 

The crowd behind him responds “Aight!”

As Hermes introduces the players, we see them all as they begin the story. Eurydice walking down a path alone, Persephone boarding the Hadestown train, Hades in his office, the Fates at the station, and Hermes introduces them all in different guises (a ticket booth operator for the station, an overseer for Hades, etc.) These guises would also appear throughout, explaining how Hermes is everywhere, even in Hadestown. 

 

Orpheus is working the bar, and Hermes watches as Eurydice comes into the bar and so the story begins. 

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#5
Posted: 7/3/19 at 4:36pm

This sounds like it's crying out for animation, in the vein of The Princess and the Frog for quick and dirty reference, but recognizing that animation isn't just for kids and one doesn't have to skirt the darker side of the story.

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#6
Posted: 7/3/19 at 6:23pm

Aiiiight! 

Let’s see… I won’t lie: My immediate response to this was “oh no, no, no”. I had the same feeling as natashalost, Hadestown is just so smitten to its theatrical form. But, nevertheless, I wanted to interact with your ideas in a more detailed way. First though-

“No judging please. This site has too much negative mojo as it is :)”

My goal is not to judge, my goal will be to critically engage with what you brought forward. 

“For information on how I would do each song (or certain moment) just ask in reply to this thread and Ill share it.”

I would echo gypsy in his advice and hope you will volunteer your ideas freely. It makes for better discussions than us having to request your ideas for each and every song.

Now, turning to the meat on the bone.

In my very personal opinion, the things that make Hadestown so intriguing are the way its stylised (very little is actually visualised, we only have visual indications of places and little physical visualisation. This, in turn, leaves a lot up to the viewer's imagination, making it so engaging.) and the way the story is structured (the influences of the old epics you have mentioned). While movies require a more literal approach due to the nature of the medium, we should refrain from spelling out too much, as this would detract from the fantastical men vs. gods setup. 

I would not mind starting the movie off in a bar, wouldn’t mind Hermes taking a stage in the bar and invoking the beginning of the musical. I’d much rather have him just sing over the scenes you describe as if he is telling a story than him being actually in disguises. Hermes, although the god of tricksters, is not Aladdin’s Genie. The idea just reads to young and juvenile in character for me to fit the Hermes we are given in the text - ofc, this could change if we reconceptualise the part.

If filmed correctly and with a vision, I do think that Hadestown and the medium of film are not in irreconcilable, but it would need to be a more artistic vision that isn’t grounded in strict reality than we are used to seeing from musical films of our time. The closest I can imagine is an edgier, darker and grittier Into the Woods, as they both have that “lemme tell you a story” kinda feeling. 

My mind also tends to wander towards animation with these projects. I’d love to see a imaginative concept. Just hope we wouldn’t actually see singing walls...

 

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#7
Posted: 7/3/19 at 7:46pm
I think a Hadestown movie would work best as an animated stop-motion film. Also, anyone else willing to join the Sam Elliott for Hades club?
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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#8
Posted: 7/3/19 at 9:03pm

To the contrary of some, I think a Hadestown film is a grand idea! It lends itself to the film format I think better than many musicals. The kinds of environments that are described and the world would be an interesting visual field to explore, especially the background of a world that is both beautiful yet impoverished and drained. I think the aesthetic alone would be worth it. I'm personally thinking along the lines of Oh Brother Where Art Thou? Exploring and expanding upon the designs of both the underground and up, the freedom and the suffocation, the wilderness and the safety could be excellent fodder for a creative mind. 

 

Now, it certainly does not lend itself to the traditional blockbuster Hollywood formula. But ever since I first heard the soundtrack I thought it could work spectacularly as an indie-style avant garde film with a visionary director. Something like that could definitely develop a cult-following and get some attention. 

 

I think a bar to start is not a bad idea. I'm thinking more of like a venue. I could also see it opening up on a railroad car, or a guy sitting on the back of one. I can understand the disposition of the bar though- it's a perfect setting for a blue-sy kind of story, which Hadestown certainly is. I don't know if the camera should be acknowledged in this case- but there should still be some fourth-wall breaking. 

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#9
Posted: 7/3/19 at 9:08pm
Not for nothing, but Steven Spielberg was sitting 2 rows directly in front of me when I saw it a few weeks ago....
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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#10
Posted: 7/3/19 at 9:16pm

After the Off-Broadway production, someone on YouTube did animated a few of the numbers, and it's actually quite beautiful

Here's Wait For Me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k44h7U9iWo

Worth noting that Patrick Page actually commented on the video saying how much he loved it! 

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#11
Posted: 7/3/19 at 9:18pm

I like it. OP, how would you do "Why We Build the Wall"?

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#12
Posted: 7/4/19 at 3:55am

LLW2 said: "I likeit. OP, how would you do "Why We Build the Wall"?"

For this song, I imagine a large crowd of workers gathered outside Hades’s....I don’t want to say palace, but it’s his domicile. He overlooks them on a balcony. Persephone is with him. Workers still building repeat the chant as if they’ve heard it many times before. Hades voice booms through large speakers and eventually he descends from the balcony when he sees Eurydice stepping off of the train. We watch as Eurydice hears the refrain for the first time and steps into the crowd to eventually join them. On the final chorus (which Eurydice is singing as well), Hades is walking through an aisle between two large groups of the crowd. He stops when he gets to Eurydice, who has failed to move with the crowd. Hades beckons her to him and she follows.

“There are papers to be signed.”

Hermes, who has been there the whole time, does his narration as Eurydice is led inside Hades’s office. The doors slam shut. Persephone, seeing an opportunity, gets on the microphone.

”Anybody want a drink?”

The workers look around, they’ve never had a drink before....

 

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#13
Posted: 7/4/19 at 4:18am

Erzlump said:  Just hope we wouldn’t actually see singing walls...
 

Oh gods no. That would not sit well with so many of us, including myself.

 

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#14
Posted: 7/4/19 at 4:24am

Erzlump said: 
I would echo gypsy in his advice and hope you will volunteer your ideas freely. It makes for better discussions than us having to request your ideas foreach and every song.

 

as much as I would love to do this, I don’t want to create the worlds longest post with every single song and idea, so to save that trouble, I would share whatever is requested, this also being in order to spark ideas for what people most want to see on film.
 

 

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#15
Posted: 7/4/19 at 5:57am

I only know the show from the concept album and Off-Broadway album, so the below thought might not match the show in its current Broadway form. Or alternatively, I might just be stating what already happens in the live show without realising it! Nevertheless, regarding the end of this hypothetical film...

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content

If the Hermes-in-the-the bar framing device were used, it might be nice if after the 'Road to Hell' reprise, 'I Raise My Cup To Him' then occurred in the same bar. Ie, we see that Eurydice and Persephone have been in the underworld bar all along, listening to their own story being retold again. It wouldn't need to be a big OMG moment or anything, but it might be a nice touch.

 

(Veering off-topic, the underworld seems to be a bit of a theme on Broadway of late. Hadestown, Beetlejuice, even The Ferryman and Moulin Rouge in a sense. Although, you can see the theme in every other story once you start looking.)

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#16
Posted: 7/4/19 at 9:24am
I saw a post from Patrick Page which showed that Steven Spielberg was a huge fan of the show. Rachel Zegler commented saying that Spielberg can’t stop talking about the show, and is in awe of Page and Amber Gray. If Spielberg is really this passionate about the show, I think he could make a pretty top notch film adaptation. Especially if he had Page and Gray in it, which it sounds like he’d do.
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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#17
Posted: 7/4/19 at 11:09am

Hot Pants said: " I think he could make a pretty top notch film adaptation. Especially if he had Page and Gray in it, which it sounds like he’d do."

I envision both of them would be in it, they’re marvelous in their roles and I can’t think of many who would do them better. Although someone said Sam Elliot as a Hades and I don’t disagree with that if Page  is not involved for whatever reasons. 

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#18
Posted: 7/4/19 at 1:13pm
The idea of Sam Elliot as Hades sounds amazing. That being said, if a movie happens, I wouldn’t want anyone as Hades more than Patrick Page. Same goes for Amber Gray as Persephone. Those two are simply sublime in their parts. The other members of the original cast would be welcome in a film as well, but to me, Page and Gray are the heart and soul of Hadestown, and the idea of anyone else playing Hades and Persephone would just feel wrong.
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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#19
Posted: 7/4/19 at 4:39pm

My initial thought was that it's too stylized and metaphorical for film, but then I thought that two of my favorite films (mother! and Synecdoche New York) are incredibly stylized and metaphrorical.

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#20
Posted: 7/6/19 at 1:22am

Feels odd that I’m the only one asking for details about the imagined movie version but I am curious. I like the ones described so far so I will request a few more of the OP, if he would indulge me:

(1) How would you do the first meeting of Orpheus and Eurydice and their immediate bonding? Seemed like it was played for laughs when I saw the show.

(2) How would you show the story of Hades kidnapping Persephone? Or would you?

Updated On: 7/6/19 at 01:22 AM
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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#21
Posted: 7/7/19 at 9:16am

LLW2 said: "Feels odd that I’m the only one asking for details about the imaginedmovie version but I am curious. I like the ones described so far so I will request a few more of the OP, if he wouldindulge me:

(1) How would you do the first meeting of Orpheus and Eurydice and their immediate bonding? Seemed like it was played for laughs when I saw the show.



(2) How would you show the story of Hades kidnapping Persephone? Or would you?"

1. If you are referring to Come Home With Me, I imagine Hermes would sort of be Orpheus’s wingman in the situation, guiding him along as he figures out what to say. The reason the moment is laughed at is mainly due to Reeve Carney’s portrayal as an awkward and shy Orpheus. This would not be the case in my imagined Hadestown. Orpheus would say the same things, but it should show his passion rather than his desperation. They would meet in the bar and Hermes would be watching them from afar. The bond would not, I think, be set in stone until Orpheus plays his song, as Eurydice cites that is why she falls in love with him later on. After this meeting, Orpheus would then take Eurydice to a field (with flowers :) ) and they would sit under a tree and he would begin Epic. 

If Orpheus was played less awkwardly (which in no way shades Reeve, who did a very good job with what he was directed to do) and more like a determined artist, Eurydice would feel like she and he could have a smart conversation with each other and their wits could bounce back and force with one another.

 

2. If you are referring to Way Down Hadestown, I would take this quite literally. He steps out of the train car and Persephone is livid. “You’re early”. He grabs her arm and says his line. She is dragged into the train and we see her looking out the window of the car, back at the Overworld people as they finish the song. 

 

Related to this, I would have the Fates only be visible to

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#22
Posted: 7/7/19 at 8:37pm

Thanks, that’s very interesting. I also would like a stronger Orpheus. It looks like your post cut off mid-sentence at the end though.

For #2, I was actually referring to Hades’ original kidnapping of Persephone from her mother’s garden. The show alludes to it — I think in Epics I and III — but never shows it. I wondered if you might show it, maybe in flashback. I suppose that could be kind of corny though and difficult to do well.

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#23
Posted: 7/7/19 at 8:51pm

LLW2 said: For #2, I was actually referring to Hades’ original kidnapping of Persephone from her mother’s garden. The show alludes to it — I think in Epics I and III — but never shows it. I wondered if you might show it, maybe in flashback. I suppose that could be kind of corny though and difficult to do well."

Ah, I see! The problem with showing it is exactly what you state here. It would come across as cheesy and predictable. Perhaps faded flashes that drift across the screen would work.

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Hadestown: The Movie (an idea)#24
Posted: 7/7/19 at 10:11pm
I’m all for Spielberg getting his hands on this material.

Nowhere to go but up.