Although it always seems like Hollywood is constantly mining for new movie material from either older films, books, or TV properties, there’s also a long history of movies being adapted in Broadway musical productions. Films like The Lion King, The Producers, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Big Fish, Elf, and scores of others have made the transition from screen to stage, and it looks like another relatively recent film is headed to the fabled New York locale.
According to a report from Deadline, Broadway musical organizations Shubert and Nederlander are teaming up with composer and impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, creator of highly popular musicals like The Phantom of the Opera and Cats, to bring the 2003 Jack Black film School of Rock to the stage. A co-production with Warner Music, the new effort is expected to open cold on Broadway itself instead of getting a “trial run” of sorts in another city first. The story of the film revolved around a failing musician who sneaks his way into a substitute teacher position intended for his roommate, as he trains his class in the ways of rock and roll to win a Battle of the Bands competition.
The production is expected to be directed by Laurence Connor, who recently directed a scaled back revival of Les Miserables, with other essential crew positions already being filmed. The musical’s book will be written by Julian Fellowes, who also wrote the books for musicals like the recent Mary Poppins directed by Cameron Mackintosh, as well as the musical for Gosford Park.
School of Rock seems like it would lend itself to the musical formula reasonably well, simply because of the subject matter alone. There are already several original songs that the production can use, and the film is generally regarded as one of Jack Black’s stronger turns over the last decade, sitting with an impressive Rotten Tomatoes score of 92%. The film was also a solid financial success at the box office, earning $131 million worldwide on a $35 million budget. Whether or not that success can translate into similar outcomes on the stage remains to be seen, but the production certainly has a great deal of weight behind it given the names already involved.
Previews are scheduled to begin in early November, 2015, with an opening already scheduled for the following month on December 6th.
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