It isn’t uncommon for beloved classics to be revived, rewritten, and retold over time, and musicals are no exception. There have been several musical-to-film adaptations over the years, and that stream isn’t ending anytime soon. Sure, some film retellings have flopped, but there are also a large number of iconic stage-to-screen revivals that honor the original medium of a story in an entirely new, beautifully cinematic way. Here are four upcoming musicals set for movie adaptations that will hopefully join the ranks of those legendary revivals.
- A Chorus Line
While not exactly a film, Tony and Pulitzer-prize-winning musical A Chorus Line is in the early stages of being adapted into a 10-part Netflix series by American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy. No timeline or further information has been given about the project’s trajectory, but with Murphy at the helm, who won a Tony for his earlier adaptation of The Boys in the Band for Netflix, we’re sure it’ll be a hit. Since its 15-year original Broadway run, A Chorus Line, which glimpses into the lives of Broadway performer-hopefuls, was revived on Broadway in 2006 and returned to New York City as part of City Center’s 75th anniversary season. It was previously adapted for the screen in 1985, but the film was a commercial failure.
Award-winning musical Follies, created by Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman, is also headed to the big screen. The story of Follies brings us to a dying theatre where a reunited group of old Follies girls reflect on their lives and their performing days, and features classic musical numbers like “Losing My Mind” and “I’m Still Here”. While no release date or cast has been confirmed, we do know that Dominic Cooke, who directed the show’s acclaimed National Theatre revival, is attached to the project.
- Fiddler on the Roof
MGM has its sights set on this classic musical about a poor Jewish milkman determined to find husbands for his five daughters for its next big movie adaptation. The new Fiddler on the Roof film will be directed by none other than Hamilton and In the Heights director Thomas Kail, who has promised that this new retelling will be a departure from the original. Steven Levenson will serve as the film’s screenwriter, and that’s about as much as we know about the project. While expectations are high for this adaption, it wouldn’t be its first time on the silver screen; Fiddler on the Roof was first adapted in 1964 by director Norman Jewison, and went on to win three Oscars out of eight nominations!
- Once On This Island
Disney+ has been busy with a variety of projects, one of them being an upcoming Broadway-to-film adaptation of Once On this Island. Once On This Island is based on Rosa Guy’s 1985 novel My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl and follows Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love with a boy from a wealthy family on the other side of their island and is joined by a powerful assortment of Caribbean gods. The original musical adaption debuted off-Broadway before a Broadway bow in 1990 and received a formal Broadway revival in 2007 by director Michael Arden. No information has been given yet about Disney’s plans for Once On This Island, but we’ll hope for the best.