Four Comic Books That Would Make Better Musicals Than Spider-Man
Rocks Off has gotten through our lives so far without watching a single episode of American Idol, and we are justly proud of that fact. However, even we had to view the clip of the show after we heard that the most murderous musical of the modern era was going to be featured. We're of course talking about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, featuring music by Bono and The Edge.
Ever since the day we heard there was going to be a Spider-Man musical, we were against the idea. The kind of things that makes Spidey Spidey are just not recreatable in a live setting, unless you somehow actually have Spider-Man.
Even then, no producer on Earth could be convinced to let him remained masked the whole time, so right there the whole thing is impossible.
Add to that the fact that we're getting music from current-U2 instead of still relevant-U2, as well as the deaths of several actors trying to portray Spider-Man, and really we're just lining up to see the whole thing fail like a heist by Rocket Racer.
There are some great comic books that could easily be turned into musicals, and we'd like to suggest the following.
DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING:Unlike Neil Gaiman's sprawling epic Sandman series, his sister Death's single shot is a down-to-earth, funny romp through the joys of life with a perky female lead. Death assumes mortal form for one day every hundred years in order to better appreciate the lives she takes. The whole thing takes place in a single city, there are no real superhero antics to be tackled, and Gaiman's audience has never been bigger.
Right off the bat people are going to want to tap Gaiman's longtime muse Tori Amos as the musical collaborator, but we're going to go with Thom Yorke of Radiohead. The man is the real master of melancholy pop music, and we think he could use a nice, big-budget mainstream gig just for the change-up.
BATMAN:This is the easiest of all because it's already been very, very close to actually happening. Jim Steinman of Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler fame was commissioned as far back as the last century to write a Batman musical. We waited patiently for years and year - well aware of the fact that Steinman in not a fast composer - and finally gave up.
Then we heard this...
That's "In the Land of the Pigs the Butcher is King" and it's easily the best song on Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell III. We were so impressed with it we did a little research and found out that Steinman wrote the song for the musical as a lament by Lt. Gordon and other Gotham City officials about the rampant crime in Gotham.
We were literally this close to getting a killer Batman spectacular based on the Burton vision, with music done by one of the greatest operatic rock composers of all time. It's just criminal that it didn't happen.
More information about the dead project can be found here.
MAUS:If you haven't read any of Art Spiegleman's retelling of the Holocaust using mice as the Jews and cats as the Nazis then you are missing out on one of the most important and best-written comics ever done. In addition to the reminiscence of the main character's father about the horrors of the Nazi persecution, the comic also has a wonderful front story of a man trying to bridge the gap between father in son in lives that have been so very different. See, the whole thing already plays like an Ibsen play on steroids.
For the music... please don't throw anything at us but we really think Andrew Lloyd Webber could pull it off. First Cats, now Maus. Get it? Ok, seriously, he's good with historical settings and grand sacrifice, as well as being adept with bringing anthropomorphic representations to life.
THOR:The movie turned out to be both a Wagnerian-esque tale of gods and heroes, and a fairly enjoyable little action film at the same time. Honestly, of all the movies Marvel was attempting on the big screen we had the least hope for Thor, but it may be our favorite so far.
At first, it may seem like Thor is just a little too big in scope for a musical, but when you consider that all the action sequences can be reduced to a few well-timed fight sequences, some clever lightning effects, a big screen for storm footage, and one or two wire-rigged flights then you realize that it would be fairly easy to deliver both the blockbuster aspects of the god's story as well as Shakespearian drama.
Just who could bring the metal of the Norse to the ivories of the Broadway stage? For that we would trust only the German piano metal pioneers In Legend.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.