Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis Unite For a Musical Comedy

Love Actually Hugh Grant

Jump For My Love! Jump In!

Just days after it was announced that Danny Boyle could be directing the next James Bond installment, word has arrived via Deadline that he’s also looking to take on a musical comedy for Universal Pictures and Working Title. Boyle is partnering with Love Actually writer/director, Richard Curtis to finally manifest his Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers fantasies. All you anglophiles out there better set your tea to steep, and grab the clotted cream for scones. Although, I wouldn’t expect another Tales of Hoffman.

Boyle has had the musical itch for a while, incorporating the Golden Age of Hollywood dance numbers into A Life Less Ordinary and fusing it with the Bollywood jazz of Slumdog Millionaire. His musical bone is maybe a little less notable further down his filmography, but all of his pictures thump to a kinetic beat. I’d love to see the vision that sent James Franco cycling erratically into the canyon of 127 Hours strap on a pair of tap shoes.

Curtis is a little less obvious for a musical, although he did send Hugh Grant spiraling into embarrassment with his raucous rendition of the Pointer Sisters’ “Jump For My Love.” The Black Adder scribe is known for a dry wit tinged with sophomoric, adolescent hijinks. Boyle and Curtis don’t seem like the most obvious pairing on the surface, or at least, outside of their country of origin. Could this be the start of a new dynamic duo?

There is no information on what the possible plot could be, but given the involvement of Curtis, I imagine the musical will be more Notting Hill than Shallow Grave. We’ve also been starved for a great movie musical. Just look at the success of the dismal affair that is The Greatest Showman. We need ’em, we want ’em. Give ’em to us.

We’ve got another Mama Mia! coming our way later this year (god help us all), and Disney will certainly dominate with their live-action takes on The Lion King and Aladdin. Tom Hooper is threatening to finally unleash Cats upon us, and an adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights is brewing for director Jon M. Chu. What we need, though, is another Moulin Rouge. We need a cinematic slap paired with a killer soundtrack being belted out by Hollywood royalty. Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis could give us that.

Working Title is coming off a tremendous hot streak with films like Darkest Hour, Baby Driver, and…uh…The Snowman. With the financial stability of Universal Studios backing them they have the opportunity to pump a lot of money into a big, showy musical. Throw Boyle a gargantuan sack of cash, and the resulting extravaganza would be a smashing feast for the eyes.

This team could just as easily round up the usual suspects from Curtis’s productions, and you’d have solid British gold. Here’s a bit for Hugh Grant, and here’s a cameo for Colin Firth (he’s got the voice, remember Mama Mia!, folks). Heck, Keira Knightley has probably been hunting for her Chicago. Here it is. My only real question is, where will Curtis fit in Rowan Atkinson?

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Trekkie, Not Trekker. Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects, co-host of the In The Mouth of Dorkness Podcast.