Ten Broadway Musicals That Deserve Movie Adaptations



With the recent resurgence of movie musicals, it’s safe to assume that Hollywood will send more in the near future. After the release and success of films such as Dear Evan Hansen, In the heights, and the eagerly awaited West Side Story remake, movie musicals are as popular as they’ve ever been.

Of course, some are already in production and are slated for release in 2022 and beyond. It has already been announced that musicals like Bad, Spring awakening, and Mean Girls: The Musical will be suitable for cinema. While we don’t have specific release dates for any of them just yet, just knowing that they’ll continue the movie’s musical trend is exciting in itself.

But what about those that haven’t been adapted yet? Are there any musicals that would make stellar movies? The answer is absolutely! Here are 10 that we’d love to see become movies ASAP.

ten. Heathers: The Musical

Heathers: The Musical is originally adapted from the 1989 film Heathers. Since then, there have been numerous restart attempts, but none have been successful. Some failed because they couldn’t match the vibe of the original, while other variations didn’t deliver or even come close to the same iconic lines. The musical, however, is right.

The score is catchy and very ’80s, and it’s a fun musical even with all the darkness smoldering between the main characters, JD and Veronica. Memorable lines woven into the songs with even more character development than the movie, Heathers: The Musical would make a great movie adaptation as it retains the best of the original while enhancing it with its clever score.

9. Air combat

Air combat is another previously film-based musical; However, it’s been thirty years since this movie came out and the musical brings a new look to it. Air combat follows a group of Marines, mainly Eddie, on their last night in San Diego before leaving to fight in the Vietnam War. They decide to celebrate by throwing a Dogfight, a competition focused on who can bring the ugliest date. It’s a complex story nestled in a seemingly simple premise.

A lot of people love war movies, especially those about the Vietnam War, so this movie would most likely appeal to audiences. Considering that there was already a non-musical film, a new musical version could attract old fans and collect new ones. There is tragedy, comedy and of course romance in Air combat, everything that makes a great Broadway show and an even better movie.

8. Society

This Stephen Sondheim musical centers around his main character, Robert, at his 35th birthday party. Robert’s friends are all there to celebrate with him, but there’s a big difference between Robert and his friends – they’re all married and happy, while Robert has huge engagement issues. Not only that, but his three girlfriends are there too, all wanting a serious relationship and realizing that this might never happen.

For some people, Society may seem like an odd choice for a film adaptation. After all, it’s a series of vignettes rather than a full story like many other shows. However, due to the roller coaster event of Robert’s birthday party, it would be easy to step back and step forward in time to show what happens in a movie set. Due to editing capabilities not available in live theater, the movie might even cut between thumbnails if necessary. It’s a show that would do wonders in a Hollywood setting.

7. american idiot

Better known as “the musical Green Day”, american idiot is a jukebox musical that uses many of Green Day’s most famous songs to tell a story that comments on the world as well as the state of our own country. There’s a lot of drugs, sex, and rock and roll, but the deeper meanings and all-too-real scenes are what make this musical unforgettable.

american idiot would fare well as a movie today due to the current division of our country. The show is a commentary on social and political issues, and while it may divide the country in the same way politics does, there could always be more media attention on these important issues. Commentary is always necessary and american idiot is a great musical to help facilitate that.

6. Reinette apple

Sometimes we don’t need musicals to be raging political commentaries, sometimes we just want them to be fun. Enter Reinette apple, a musical that follows a young prince as he sets off in search of his place in the world. He is lost and uncertain when a troop of players find him and push him into different situations that could potentially help him find his purpose in life. Nothing is ever all fun and games, however, and the musical’s dark turn in the finale illustrates this perfectly.

Reinette apple is a fun and exciting musical, as you can see in the trailer above. If the circus acts don’t grab your attention, then the songs and the plot definitely will. Seeing this as a movie with different renditions and variations on song and theme would be a glorious cinematic spectacle to say the least.

5. Miss Saigon

Oddly enough, two Vietnam War musicals made this list, and they’re both equally good. Miss Saigon is a romantic tragedy loosely based on the famous play Madame Papillon. It is about a young woman in Vietnam, Kim, who meets and falls in love with an American soldier. He has to leave, and does so without knowing that Kim is pregnant. It’s all in the first act, and there’s so much more to the show that we don’t want to spoil!

From the music and intricate plot to the reality of the horrors that unfolded in Vietnam, Miss Saigon is one of the most worthy of a movie adaptation. It’s a beautifully tragic story, timeless enough to make it an incredible cinematic experience.

4. Once on this island

Once on this island was relaunched on Broadway in 2017 and has been talked about ever since. It tells the story of a girl, Ti Moune, and her journey through love and even death which was conceived by the gods of the island. While it sounds simple enough, the music and messages are so loud and pure that they are suitable for audience members of all ages.

What makes this musical perfect for the big screen is its setting and its plot. Ti Moune embarks on an adventure across the island, and there’s not much you can do with it on a stage. In a movie, we could see the actual island, take a peek at where the gods live, and much more! Once on this island would translate very well on screen and hopefully it will soon.

3. Next to normal

Nominated for eleven Tony Awards and winning three, Next to normal is a musical that follows mother Diana and her family as they all struggle with the worsening of her bipolar disorder and the hallucinations of her deceased son. It’s an incredibly powerful look at the lives of families struggling with mental health issues, which we need to be highlighted more in popular media.

After the success of the Dear Evan Hansen both on Broadway and the big screen, now is the perfect time to adapt Next to normal for an audience that may not have had the chance to see him on stage. Having such a raw story in the mainstream could help end the stigma surrounding mental health and spread the message of how difficult it is for people who face it on a daily basis. The rock score is also amazing, which is one of the many reasons why Next to normal also won a Pulitzer Prize for theater in 2010.

2. Come from afar

While Come from afar was recorded on Broadway and recently released on Apple TV Plus, it’s not quite the same as being adapted into a real movie. Considering the plot is based on a true 9/11 story, it’s a beautiful and realistic spectacle. It shows how people with no real connections can come together in the midst of tragedy and discover all they have in common.

Music alone is enough to justify a film, but because it started on stage, a film version of Come from afar would make everything even more resonant. The planes, the radio announcements and all the fear and confusion that happened on September 11 would be so much more tangible and would make the story even more revealing to audiences if it came to life on screen.

1. Anastasia

Based on the 1997 animated film of the same name, Anastasia follows a fictional tale of an orphan named Anya. Set in 20th century Russia, it tells the story of how Anya is tricked into believing that she really is the late Duchess Anastasia Romanov. While it is up to the audience to decide for themselves due to the real story behind the show, it still looks as good as the animated film.

Now owned by Disney, the stage version of Anastasia would make an incredible live-action musical. Not only would the costumes shine on the film, but the new music and modified plot would suit the film for a wider audience, not just kids. Many changes were made to the original script, removing the magical elements and making the story more realistic. Due to the music, updated history, and people’s continued interest in the Romanovs, Anastasia would make an amazing musical adaptation for the cinema.


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