Sunday, January 20, 2013

Not Everything Should Be a Movie: Jekyll & Hyde Version

With the uber successful film adaptation of LES MISERABLES keeping everyone's attention on the musical theatre world, it is no surprise that in its wake many movie musical adaptations have been announced. Matt Stone & Trey Parker, creators of South Park, announced this month that they are starting a film production company (mostly to create a BOOK OF MORMON movie adaptation). And just today, it was announced that the rights have been purchased to turn JEKYLL & HYDE into a movie.

Frank Wildhorn's musical, which had a lot of success on Broadway when it first debuted, is on a national tour with American Idol's Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox, and will return to Broadway this spring. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the musical, especially with stunt casting like this, and it made me think: What's better? Hollywood making more movie musicals, even if they aren't the best, or focusing on big hits and strong musicals? (Also, bets that Hugh Jackman plays Jekyll/Hyde and Anne Hathaway has the female lead?)

Les Mis was so successful because it is a great musical (one of the world's most popular) done with an all-star cast by an amazing director and creative team. Can the same be said of a movie musical of JEKYLL & HYDE? A mediocre musical, with decent but not great brand recognition, and so far no known casting of creative team. I don't think so.

As a huge fan of musical theatre, I'm glad to see Hollywood embracing it, but I think there need to be limits because I don't want to see everything made into a movie. What's going to be next? A movie adaptation of LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL?


  1. They had all the talk about American Idiot being turned into a movie, but to me, that's a horrible idea. I agree that not everything needs to be a movie. American Idiot is about 90% personal interpretation.
    I think it's easy for Hollywood to latch onto whatever seems to be making the big bucks. But the stunt casting.... we need real talent to make it truly worth it.

  2. I agree, not every play is suitable to be adapted into a movie. If you're going adapt a play into movie form though, please make it something other than a video of a play performance. I want to see more originality in adaptations with producers utilizing the silver-screen. I haven't seen the Les Miserables movie, but I saw the play right before it came out and was told there are almost no differences. I loved the play, but why would I bother to see the movie?

  3. I completely agree that not every musical or production should be made into a movie. Two of my favorite productions of all time, Sweeney Todd and Phantom of the Opera (the one with Gerard Butler as the Phantom), did not live up to my expectations in movie form. I think a huge reason is because Hollywood focuses far too much on getting big name actors to play the roles with less emphasis on the singing and overall acting.
    This is a fantastic blog and I can't wait to see what else you will be covering for the semester!
    -Christina Arvanites (

  4. I completely agree with John. Nothing disappoints me more than when I go see a movie, and it's identical (just slightly worse) than the original play. If a play is being developed into a film, a think that the directors and producers need to use their creative brains and add their own changes to it, making it less predictable and more enjoyable.

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  6. Aren't movie musicals hard enough to sell? When done right, they shine (note: Dreamgirls, Chicago, Les Mis). These are so good because, like you said, they are running on all cylinders with amazing casts, scores, adaptations, etc. I don't understand or see a need for the Jekyll&Hyde adaptation. BUT. If there's anyone who can make it happen, it's Constantine Maroulis! (Right . . .? Maybe . . . )