The screen and stage share source material like best friends who steal DVDs and never give them back. One could be more successful and better known than the other whilst some may sit comfortably together. Sometimes, it doesn’t work and the art form is scorned forever. But there is often a wish or two for one to leap into another, particularly a film transforming into a stage musical. There are cult classics, epic blockbusters and indie hits who are aching for a musical number and epic amounts of spirit fingers as they wow the theatre, eventually making it back to screen with a brand new adaptation (cough, Hairspray, cough.)
Warm Bodies (2013)
Zombies and love? What two words hanker for a musical number or two more than those? The story about R, our protagonist who narrates his “undead” life with sarcasm and yearning is the perfect setting for the stage. As he falls in love with a human, both of them learn that the heart is much more vital than braaaiinnns. The ballads are there for the taking. Let’s not forget the special skeletal effects on the enemy Boneys (not boners) that would look spectaclerly excellent given a theatrical twist. Whilst a lot of zombie movies such as Dawn of the Dead and Shaun of the Dead could work with a song or two, Warm Bodies has a great romantic tale at the centre of it.
The Craft (1996)
All teens, particularly females, who have grown up in the nineties would be overcome with jealousy at the Wiccan powers our quartet summon up. Without a beat, we gathered at our sleepovers and tried the glamour spell and “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board,” to no avail. Yet imagine how captured our imaginations would be if we saw it all on stage, set to a grungy nineties beat that enhances the sickening turn of Nancy and the girls? The perfectly set alternative number of the becoming antagonist as she deals with her thirst for power and Manon, her reprise as she kills Chris with her manic “He’s Sorry” and Sarah’s climatic overcoming are all begging for music.
With a remake in the works, they’ll miss a trick or two if they don’t make it a musical! They’ve already tackled Carrie, Heathers, and Mean Girls! This would be it’s literal spiritual counterpart!
The Great Escape (1963)
War time stories have always made great stage adaptations; Flare Path, Blithe Spirit, War Horse, and Bird Song have illuminated our theatres with tales of battles and soldiers. The Great Escape is one of those classic films that could appease families of all ages as it does on the screen around Christmas time. The story of allied POWs as they burrow beneath the ground and barracks to escape their camp is tantalising. Yet the motif of the Main Title, that whistle we all know and love, could immortalise the stage adaptation in greatness and haunt, too, when it comes to the more sorrow-filled scenes of death and dismay.
Love, Actually (2003)
Any one of Richard Curtis’ romantic epics would translate well into the theatre. Love, family and heartache all bristle with possible tuneful epics. Love, Actually, though seasonal and full of many interweaving stories actually offers the most possibilities. The vignettes of love, upon a backdrop of Christmas, elections and crude Rock Singers are, actually, promising. There’s already, actually, many songs interlocked in here already. But imagine this; Karen, after finding out her husband has been platonically cheating on her (he doesn’t actually fuck anyone, but fancies someone enough to buy them a gold necklace), escorts herself outside of family festivities and sings; “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell through unbridled tears. Ooh! I have the goosebumps already. Actually.
Monsters Inc (2001)
“They’re rehearsing for a play!” This is kind of cheating because Pixar and Monsters Inc. have already sown the seeds for an excellent musical as the world of Monsters and Children collide when the rascal Boo sneaks in to an unknown realm. With massive costumes and set pieces, including an epic scene with doors that would look so bloody brilliant in a show, Monsters Inc. could make an incredible musical with the fluffy Sully and one eyed Mike rushing around to save their world from supposed destruction. And who the hell doesn’t want to hear a grander version of “Put That Thing Back Where It Came from or So Help Me?”
What do you think?