Movie Version of RENT (Jonathan Larson)

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Movie Version of RENT (Jonathan Larson)#0
Posted: 3/6/04 at 7:48pm
Anyway word on the filming of Rent since Miramax started talking to NBC about a made-for-TV version? I'm still hoping for a big screen treatment. IMO, it would make for a much more exciting movie musical than Hairspray or The Producers.
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I heard that Justin Timberlake read for something in the movie...... it scared me.......
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The only thing i heard about the movie version of RENT was years ago when Spike Lee wanted to do it.
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At IMDB.com, we've been keeping up a heated argument about the merits of making a movie version. However, it's been a long time since any of us could bring forth new information to support our views. I don't understand why Miramax's budgeting problems would push this, of all musicals, into limbo. Their idea is that Pippin and Sweeney Todd will actually prove more lucrative than Rent? I'm dubious.
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Also in favor of a big screen adaptation...

This screenplay review:

http://www.tnmc.org/dp/0904011.shtml
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If they butcher the RENT movie I think MY aorta will explode. They should film the stage show, air it on PBS, put it on DVD and have all the proceeds go to separate AIDS, and HEART research foundations...
Updated On: 3/6/04 at 08:39 PM
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I like the idea of filming the stage show for PBS. However, that won't completely outrule the (still enticing) possibility of a movie musical, unless the material gets too dated...
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Well, even if it does get too dated they could still do it as a "period piece", but actually due to the fact that the song "What You Own" includes the lyrics "dying in America, at the end of the millennium..." even the stage show takes place either in 1996 or sometime before 2000.
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That's true. "What You Own" makes it a period piece (1994) if AZT and all of the references to left-wing heroes of the 1990s don't.
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I also remember hearing what brdwaybaby17 said about Justin Timberlake. That scared me as well. I agree with CATSNYrevival. I'd like to see the show filmed and put on PBS. I think if RENT were to be made into a mainstream movie, it would lose a lot of its beautiful message.
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I think they could make a wonderful movie version of it- a lot of cinematic qualities and moments about the musical. For example, the scene in the Life Cafe with "La Vie Boheme" could be done really well.

Of course, I have no problem with filming the stage show either. re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Movie Version of RENT (Jonathan Larson)
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And I think if RENT were filmed for PBS they would be losing a lot of their mainstream subscribers.
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did they loose subscribers when they broadcast the new version of Jesus Christ Superstar??? That was incredibly violent and bloody....way more offensive than a few curse words here and there... Besides I've seen nudity on PBS before I don't think that station has standards when it comes the "great performances" showcase....
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As much as I love RENT, I agree with etoile...it just isn't meant for PBS. Possibly HBO.
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They haven't discussed RENT in months. The last I heard of it, HBO and MTV both wanted to do it. But that was back in like May. Before that there were rumors about Justin Timberlake. Um, no way will anyone let THAT happen.
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oh god... I'd be pretty worried if MTV did it. They'd botch it for sure.
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i think the beginning should start off with all this static and then you hear the guitar start up and then the camera focuses on Mark, of course we see it from HIS camera and then he sings "December 24, 9 p.m...."
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That would be a cool beginning. While I do agree that they could do some great things with it in terms of cinematography, I still would hate to see it be changed just to please a mainstream audience. I would much rather see the show filmed and something special done with that.
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like that actor said in "bullets over broadway", forgot his name. "I don't make hits. I make art"
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i think after spike lee stopped showing interest the idea was killed. i remember reading an article were raul espraza said he did a reading with justin timberlake a few years ago. i think he said that he read for roger and justin for mark.
i don't think they should make a movie, im kinda scared what they would do to such a great musical.
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it could so work. ive like adapted short stories into short movies before to work on technique. it could so be done. the only thign that would have to be cut would be a few lines just to make it a bit shorter. because in case most haven't noticed, movies are a lot shorter then plays. this is because the average movie goer doesn't have the attention span of a theatre goer.
"Sing the words, Patti!!!!" Stephen Sondheim to Patti LuPone.
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I think enough people are passionate about Rent that it wouldn't get screwed up in the hands of Hollywood. Adapting it into a feature-length narrative film still seems fine to me because I've seen enough roadshow movie musicals to understand them as entities separate from the original stage versions. A movie of Rent could very well increase interest in the stage show, as well as introduce the characters to people who can't access or afford Broadway.
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I think a big screen movie of RENT would work well. It would not have to make "commercial" compromises. There are lots of high quality "art" movies around that do well, so no reason why RENT could not be filmed in a way that maintains its artistic integrity - though I agree that careful attention would need to be paid to the casting. (Justin Timberlake - I think not!)

Turning it into a movie will also provide an opportunity to iron out the problems with the book of the stage show. The show is a collection of wonderful pieces and some quite stunning songs that do not really hold together as a whole. I am certain that if Jonathon Larson had lived he would have done a major rewrite by now. A good screenwriter will be able to achieve this.
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I don't see why people have a problem with stunt casting, if it's effective and well done - why not? Justin Timberlake is the right age for Mark and, in my head, looks like Mark would look. The only problem is that he's not an actor, which means he'd need a lot of directing/acting classes. Other than that, why not put Justin Timberlake in a film of Rent? Not only would it boost the box office no end, it would also mean a thorough publicity campaign that it might not get otherwise.

I think people here don't want Justin because a, he's famous, or b, the film would bring in a leigon of unwanted female fans. People want Broadway shows to themselves, they don't like it when the mainstream market takes over.

Another example of stunt casting where everyone went crazy was Matthew Perry in Sexual Perversity in Chicago. The critics couldn't look beyond the fact that he was a film star and not a stage actor and therefore gave the show awful reviews. I saw it and thought it was inspired casting - SPIC has very film/TV dialogue and film/TV situations, therefore actually Perry was perfectly cast and pulled it off.

Jake.
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Rob Marshall was actually brought in from Mirmax to be considered to Direct Rent, but in that meeting persuaded them that he would much rather do the Chicago movie that was rumored to be in the works and that he be a great candidate to do it.