Musical Adaptations


Any theater fan knows that making Les Miserable as a film will be a considerable undertaking (one that hopefully keeps the rotating stage). It’s an epic piece of writing made even larger by the music created for the stage version by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil (the English version libretto was done by Herbert Kretzmer). With a Best Picture under his belt, Tom Hooper wants to tackle it, and so does Universal, but they’ll both need some giants to fill the main roles, and it looks like they’ve gotten their first. Variety is reporting that Hugh Jackman, famous for being well-versed as an actor, a singer, and a not-too-shabby dancer, is currently in talks to star. It’s unclear whether he’ll be playing the fugitive Jean Valjean (who was imprisoned for stealing bread to feed his sister’s family) or Javert (the police inspector determined to hunt him down), but speculation seems to be that he’ll be running from the law instead of representing it. That speculation is based on Jackman’s natural tenor singing range, but it wouldn’t be the first time a production forced an actor to do something out of their safe zone. The real question is which part he’d be best for. That, again, is Valjean. Although he could honestly nail down either part firmly. Now to find a suitable counterpart. How about Liam Neeson (who portrayed Valjean in the 1998 film adaptation), Karl Urban (can he sing?), or Jean Dujardin (making a proper launch into US filmmaking)? On […]



It was inevitable that a movie studio would pick up the highly successful Broadway musical based on the highly successful compact disc put out by band Green Day. It’s fitting that it would be Universal to option American Idiot considering their growing interest in musical storytelling – or at least their proposed future in interest in telling stories like Les Miserable and Wicked. Deadline Neches is reporting that the studio has hired Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) to write his first screenplay that doesn’t involve real-life political figures. His skill is unmistakable though, and his political experience will help color this story about three small-town guys despairing at their suburban existence through pop-punk. I, for one, welcome the adaptation because it’s high time a screen musical involved shooting up heroin. Universal has also signed Michael Mayer to direct the film, which is an interesting choice. His Tony-winning, Broadway background is notable, and he’s directed two features including A Home at the End of the World and Flicka. Essentially, he’s in a unique position to match musical sensibility with cinematic knowledge. In a sense, he might emerge as a new Adam Shankman. As a life-long fan of the band, it’s great that they’ve branched out so much and maintained mainstream appeal over more than two decades, but I can’t help but hold out hope for a musical based on “Dookie.”

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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