Classic Films That Should Become Musicals?

Hairspray started as a (great) non-musical film starring Divine.
The Producers was a (great) non-musical film starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.

So, what films do you think should become a musical?
And if you are in the mood, who should star in the film?


Christopher Walken as Rotwang the Inventor/Sorcerer.

2001: A Space Odyssey

I can just see it now:

—The Opening, where, under the influence of the Monolith, the Apes learn first to dance, then to sing, culminating in the wotrld’s first kick-line

–The zero-G Dance of the Stewardesses

– Dr. Heywood Floyd’s rap/patter Denial of anything Wrong to the Russians, combined with his Lunar Briefing
–The big Jupiter Spaceship number, with the three astronauts in cryosleep dancing in their “coffins” around the centrifuge with Dave and Frank, while Hal chimes in from multiple ports and sprouts cyberlegs to dance with.

–HAL’s big “What do you think you’re doing, Dave?” solo, followed by his heartrending version of “Daisy, Daisy”
–Dave Bowman’s “I’m feeling a little older now” (done to the music of “Shout!”) , done with himself.
– The Finale, with the entire cast performing to Strauss’ "Also Sprach Zarathustra:

It’ll be even bigger than the musical version of Dune:

None of them.

ETA: No good films, that is. A bad, stupid and/or terminally cheesy movie might actually be more interesting as a musical. E.g., Little Shop of Horrors. But with good, or at least interesting, movies, the tendancy is for a musical version to lose any kind of edge, depth or subtlety possessed by the original movie. Okay, the show A Little Night Music (based on Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night) was pretty good, but sometimes spoken dialogue has a power that even the best Stephen Sondheim songs can’t match.

I hate every chimp I see
From Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z
You’ll never make a monkey out of me.
Oh Gosh! I was wrong.
It was earth all along.
You’ve finally made a monkey
Yes, you’ve finally made a monkey
Yes, you’ve finally made a monkey out of me.

I love you, Dr Zaius!

Do they still do musicals with big, signature props, like the helicopter in Miss Saigon or the chandalier in Phantom? Because that’s a concept that just cries out for an exploding Imperial Death Star.

Although filmed a few times but never a classic movie, Kafka’s Metamorphosis - a revolving stage set and you get the bug dancing on the walls & ceiling like Fred Astaire.

There are many exceptions. My Fair Lady keeps the depth of Pygmalion and adds a few little twists of its own (one song brings in a reference to Shaw’s sarcastic suggestion for a better ending to the play, for instance).

Chicago is a nice reworking of Roxie Hart (admittedly, they went to the source rather than the movie, but there’s no reason it would have failed otherwise).

It all depends on the writers, songwriters, and director.

Bill Murray’s rendition of Star Wars just cries out for fleshing out to a full length musical. Cries out like a million voices suddenly being silenced, in fact.

I mean, what are stormtroopers *for * other than a kickline?

There’s sword fights, a princess, a big villain in a black cape and at least one Solo. If that material isn’t gay enough for a musical, I don’t know what is!

It’s been done. All of the songs, though, were songs from other musicals but with new words.

It never quite made it to Broadway.


Turns out that the same group did Reefer Madness: The Musical.

9 1/2 Weeks

Uh… Push it!

Push it real good!

One that has been made into a musical, and which I’d dearly like to see:

Plan Nine from Outer Space.

They did it as a student thing at the University of Utah, just before I got there (I always seem to JUST MISS things at schools), and I was surprised to read about it later showing up at professional theaters in the Midwest. It later played in California, IIRC. It seems to be a different one from that referred to in Wikipedia, since that dates it to 1997, and this would have been 1982 originally ( ).
In the Utah version one of the songs, I understand, details the other eight plans. It’s supposed to be pretty funny, until near the end, when it inexplicably takes a turn for the serious.

Y’all aren’t trying hard enough.

The Seventh Seal
No-thing escapes me!
No one escapes me!

And yooooou’ll never escape
My love for yoooooooou!

Hey, it worked for MAD. A lot.

It didn’t contain original songs but the original has a number of musical sequences (and a great soundtrack).

And “I’m Shocked to Discover”

I’m Shocked to Discover
I’m Shocked to Discover
(here’s your winnings, sir)
I’m Shocked to Discover
Gambling Hereeeeeeeee.


Songs would include A Bush in the Hand, That’s all I Gotta Sing About That, Like Biscuits and Mustard, He Ain’t Preemie, He’s My Brother, Waters of the Medulla Oblongata, I’m Hurtin’ Honey and I Like the Way You Sang.

The English Patient starring Julia Louis Dreyfuss

Songs include Tell Me About Yourself, Why I Let the Nazis In, Just Die Already, The Chapel of San Matteo, No I Mean It- Die Already, No Thumbs Are Better than No Hands, and Seriously, Let Me Help You… DIE!
The Elephant Man

Breakaway hit is I’m Not an Animal, I’m a TENOR! and I’m a Big Boy and I’ll Sleep How I Wanna

If you want to make movies into musicals like Hairspray, just delve deeper into the John Waters catalog.

I can only imagine the fun when they do Pink Flamingos. Think about it… a cross dressing John Travolta eating dog shit.

In all honesty, Cry-Baby would probably be able to work.

For the sake of the investors it better.
ETA: I’m surprised that Dirty Dancing has never become a stage musical. There was talk for some while of Moulin Rouge becoming a stage musical but getting the rights to all those songs would have to be prohibitive (though they did it for the screen obviously).

One I would LOVE to see on stage is Little Voice.

I haven’t seen Kevin Spacey’s Bobby Darin pic, but I understand it was originally intended for the stage.

I had no idea.