Broadway. A world of flashing lights, colors, tap dances, and memorable music. Through the years there have been musicals that have soared above and beyond; like Wicked (seriously she soars above Oz), The Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King. However, there have been some unfortunate flops in the past like Big Fish and Rocky. Some movies can easily be translated by adding a couple of tunes and new scenes. For example, most of the Disney classics have made remarkable transitions from screen to stage.
There are some movies that should never be made into a Broadway musical. Sometimes things are better left on the screen for many reasons... one of them is safety (Spider-Man *cough, cough*).
1. THE DARK KNIGHT
If you haven't seen Christopher Nolan's cinematic masterpiece... you have clearly been living under a rock. This is a movie that has defied Box Office Records and has earned a great deal of due to Heath Ledgers unparalleled performance as the Joker.
But think about this movie as a Broadway Musical. It would have to be the most technically difficult movie ever made. With explosion, after explosion, after explosion, there would be no actors left for Act II. Everyone would have died in the first act.
*See my point? There would be no stage left after the first five minutes.*
Broadway learned a valuable lesson when they invested in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark. Several actors were seriously injured and a copious amount of money was wasted on unnecessary effects and sets. They even fired their director half-way during the production because she was oblivious to the fact that her cast was dropping like flies.
Here is the Video Evidence of why Super Hero Movies should be left on the page and on screen.
Also... just thing of the songs... What are the numbers going to be like? Is the Joker going to have a song called "Why So Serious" with a Tap Interlude, top hat, and cane? Or Harvey and Rachel can have a duet when they're both about to be blown to smithereens. The possibilities are endless... but they're also ridiculous.
Let's leave Nolan's brilliant movie at bay. Don't even think about making this a musical.
2. MOULIN ROUGE!
Before anyone says anything.... hear me out on this one. Moulin Rouge is an incredible, breathtaking, cinematic treat filled with goofy characters, crazy camera angles, and covers of our favorite songs.
Baz Luhrmann had defied all odds with his 2001 film about a writer and a courtesan who fall head over heels for each other. It's a tragic love story that is set in Paris during a time of the Bohemians where music, truth, freedom, and love were important to many people... but to Christian love is the most important. We couldn't live without it.
What makes Moulin Rouge such a fantastic film is its camera angles and its cinematography. These are things that could not be properly displayed on stage. I'm sure that they would hire a talented director for this musical, but there would be something missing. The film is beautiful in every aspect, taking different genres and ideas and making them into one gargantuan cohesive spectacle. Leave this film on screen forever and always. This is coming from a person who truly loves the movie with all of his heart.
3. KING KONG
A giant animal. A giant animal who falls in love with an beautiful blonde. A giant animal on top of the Empire state building. Where they hell are they going to get a large animal for this production?
King Kong is your classic horror movie about an ape from a mysterious island who is brought back to the states (by idiots) and wrecks havoc on those who try to take him down.
You may not believe it when I say it... but King Kong is already a musical. That's right. You heard me, it has already had try-outs and performances. King made the list because the musical has not yet come to Broadway. We are uncertain whether the transfer will occur or not.
I know folks... this is just horrendous. Are they really running out of ideas? Do they have to resort to a freaking ape to bring audiences to the theater?
Critics have praised the show for its mastery in puppetry and stage-magic, but the music is lackluster and not cohesive in the slightest.
However, songs must advance story and illuminate characters and, although Marius De Vries’ compositions are rousing and diverse, and individual songs by contemporary artists have a distinctive flavour, the repertoire lacks a consistent voice and unified vision.
The story (Craig Lucas) gallops at a giddy pace for 45 minutes until Kong appears, with one huge chorus scene chasing another, and lacklustre dialogue does not enhance characters and relationships.
I think this has to be the most unnecessary musical to date. Musicals are about the music and the storytelling. Not about cheap thrills and stage magic. In order for a musical to work as a whole every element has to become one. The effects simply cannot outshine the music and the book. It would be best if this musical were left on the island along with the monster ape himself.
4. THE GREAT GATSBY
Whether you're a fan of the Mia Farrow/Robert Redford or the Leonard DiCaprio film there is no denying that this concept would make a terrible Broadway musical. The movie is a doomed romance with the Roaring 20s as its backdrop, which could be great set up for a musical.... you'd think. But think about these chorus numbers! They would be super cheesy "We Love Gatsby" anthems about nothing more than the cocktails and zany party guests. Basically it's another version of the "Wild, Wild Party" from The Wild Party.
*This is exactly what I'm talking about. A smaller, more intimate version of a Gatsby party.* (00:54 oh look.... flappers)
There score would mostly consist of Ballads about how the girl got away from Gatsby's grasp. Nick wouldn't even have a number because he is a writer.... not a singer. How would he tell his story? Would Nick just stand to the side and narrate his time in New York? Nothing bores an audience more than expository theater. It's more intimate and exciting when the characters are actually doing something.
To relate to an audience, the composers would probably make more modern, contemporary sounding songs. This would not fit the flow of the musical or relate to the actual time period. In my opinion, this would be the Number One Snoozer Musical of the Season.
Fitzgerald's words are properly expressed on page and screen.... not on the Broadway stage.
Sorry Nicky... even flowers couldn't save this musical from the depths of despair.
There you have it. The Award-Winning Musicals that would make terrible Broadway Shows. If you think of any other movies that would be bad on the Great White Way, comment below! I would love to hear your opinions!