Let's be clear, Broadway is not out of ideas. Book of Mormon has proved that pretty conclusively. However, once producers realized that they could take a film that everyone has heard of and stuff a few million up its back porch like it was a drug mule, then they could pretty much guarantee at least a return on their investment, or possibly even full-fledged hits like Legally Blonde and Hairspray.
To quote [title of show]...
"Movies make good musicals?"
"Well... they make musicals."
Adapting a movie for the stage isn't always a bad thing. The Producers and Hairspray were already halfway there in their original formats; no reason not to take them the rest of the way. Ditto with The Wedding Singer.
Just like Hollywood, though, they've now gone through all the workable remake commodities and are really starting to struggle. Some of what is coming up needs very badly to be whacked on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper and given a firm "NO!"
Based on the Oscar-winning 1990 hit film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, Ghost is one of those romantic stories that somehow manage to be both epically Shakespearean in magnitude while also being eye-rollingly anchored in the '80s.
The stage adaptation has already done well in London, and is scheduled to hit America in March 2012. Apparently, some real high-tech effects are used, but trust us, no amount of stage magic is ever going to erase the fact that someone tricked us into watching Demi Moore make out with Whoopi Goldberg.
At this point in his career, Tim Burton has become more or less a sad parody of himself. What was once a towering figure of innovation has basically become a pseudo-gothic corpse being dragged forward by Johnny Depp, Danny Elfman and Helena Bonham Carter. In the last decade, his sole exemplary work has been his adaptation of Daniel Wallace's novel Big Fish.
Now the Broadway adaptation is scheduled to open next spring...and it's a terrible idea. See, the whole reason Big Fish was a tremendous film for Burton was that it was the first time in years that he cut back severely on making an overblown phantasmagorical spectacle of himself and just told a story. If you've seen any kind of big-budget musical lately, you know that there is zero chance of them taking that approach.
No. Just no. Nobody has ever watched Bruce Lee and thought, "You know what this needs? A dance number!" The only possible way that a singing and dancing Bruce Lee would somehow not suck hose water would be if it were done by Bollywood, and even that would probably need eight boobies, two helicopter explosions and a guest guitar solo by Slash to pull it off.
This project has been kicking around for years now, and the show will deal with Lee coming to America accompanied by the Monkey King, China's trickster god. Look, we know that there are probably a lot of male Asian actors out there who are thoroughly sick of The King and I, but hasn't Bruce Lee already suffered enough by having his freakin' corpse put in Game of Death?
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A pretty impressive team is looking to bring The Nutty Professor to Broadway, another project that's been in the works for a while. Of course, the real question is who will tackle the roll of Sherman Klump, made famous by Eddie Murphy. And the answer is no one.
See, the musical will actually be an adaptation of the Jerry Lewis original, with music by Marvin Hamlisch and directed by Lewis himself. While we'll be the first to agree with you that Lewis's original is the far superior film, it's also almost 50 years old. The whole point of this adaptation craze is cashing in on things that Middle America will throw down money on, and the Murphy Nutty Professor remake and sequel netted half a billion dollars worldwide.
Which one do you think people will be expecting?