As everyone has most likely heard by now, Hollywood will be trying their hands at bringing even more dearly loved musicals to the big screen. Les Miserables, starring the talents of Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried, is due to be released in theaters in the US this coming December, and will premiere in November for you lucky UKers.
But Les Miz will not be the only musical brought to life in movie-form. In the light of 2012 Comic-Con revelations, it has been announced that not one, but two more musical adaptations are in the works for the near future.
The first of the illustrious shows to make the leap from Broadway to Hollywood is the popular Jersey Boys, which is based on the story of the rock n’ roll group The Four Seasons. The recipient of four Tony Awards and a Grammy, Jersey Boys is likely to be directed by Jon Favreau, known for his work on the two Iron Man films.
As for the second upcoming musical-turned-movie, Universal is currently in negotiations to acquire Stephen Daldry as director for the highly anticipated movie of Wicked.
A Wizard of Oz prequel, Wicked tells the true story behind the two witches of Oz—Elphaba the supposedly Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda (formerly known as GA-linda) the Good Witch. With compelling twists to the old story and powerful musical numbers, it should be no surprise that this musical is among the most high-selling Broadway shows from week to week.
Now the question is, will the film be able to measure up to the hype?
My answer? I hope so. But they will definitely have a lot to live up to. Since it’s premiere, Wicked has won three Tonys, six Drama Desk Awards and a Grammy, in addition to record-breaking ticket sales.
But the biggest shoes to fill, in my opinion? Kristen Chenoweth as Glinda. Her perfect comedic timing and unforgettable voice are always a tough act to follow for anyone. And while casting the roles is still a ways away, I can only hope that whomever they cast as Glinda—and Elphaba—is up to the task of making the movie as magical as the musical. Still, with the Broadway show casting such a big shadow, the Wicked movie may need Glinda’s expertise to become as popular as its Broadway component.