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Movies That Should Be Broadway Musicals

Musicals are something that can make you feel whole, can bring light to your life, and can make you think. But seeing an original Musical is hard and often we get to look to our favorite movies to inspire the latest Broadway hit. With shows like Kinky Boots, American Psycho: The Musical, Amėlie, and more, Broadway loves a movie musical.

So what should be the next Broadway hit? We have some idea of what could be the next musical to make the Great White Way! From musical movies to films that just could work in the musical medium, let’s take a look at some movies that should be Broadway musicals!

Across The Universe

Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing. 

Maybe because Broadway director Julie Taymor directed, or because it's already musical but the movie Across the Universe would be a perfect musical to hit Broadway. Interesting enough, we haven’t really had a Broadway show using the songs of the Beatles yet and something about Across the Universe just works so translating the film to the stage feels natural.

The movie follows characters all named from songs by The Beatles. Jude moves to the United States to meet his father and start a new life where he meets Lucy and her brother Max. Through their time in New York, they meet Prudence, Jojo, Sadie, and all try to live their life as the Vietnam war continues to close in around them. The music of the Beatles plays a powerful part of the film and would work beautifully on stage, and it is about time we have a musical with their music!


Image Credit: Paramount Pictures. 

David Fincher's 2007 film follows the case of the Zodiac Killer, a murderer operating in the San Francisco area in the late 60s. Why not make it a musical?

Yes, this movie feels like a strange choice but it also has a strange online history. Getting to see Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal, and more all try to take on the infamous unsolved mystery is somewhat soothing.

It wouldn’t be the first time a movie musical centered on murder. American Psycho the Musical, Silence, a musical based on Silence of the Lambs, and others have all followed murderous rampages. So why not let Zodiac have that treatment? Just think of the costumes!

I, Tonya

Image Credit: NEON. 

A musical about Tonya Harding did run in Soho for a while. Still a Broadway musical about the infamous rise and fall of Tonya Harding during the 1994 Winter Olympics feels too good to pass up. The movie is based on a series of interviews conducted by those who knew Tonya Harding at the time when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked before the Olympics. 

The movie's funny, dark, and wild look into the world of Harding is also the perfect setup for a musical. Imagine a duet about the Olympic paparazzi. 


Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Hey Broadway, why not try to bring Rocketman to life?

The Dexter Fletcher movie about the life of Elton John featured outlandish costumes, over-the-top stories, and a surreal approach to how Elton John's climb to fame, all told through his music. Bringing that to life on the Great White Way would take a lot of stage magic but it would still be an exciting time in the theater.

Easy A

Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing. 

Easy A is already an adaptation of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (sort of). While Nathaniel Hawthorne would have hated that movie,  adapting Easy A into a musical offers great possibilities. 

Olive becomes the source of scandal at her school. Adapting it into a musical a la the recent Broadway musical version of Mean Girls, Easy A could find a new audience. Imagine songs from female artists from 2010 making up the music. It’d be incredible to see.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Image Credit: CBS Films. 

Again, why not make a movie musical into a Broadway show?  Inside Llewyn Davis features quite a bit of his music played throughout the film. 

Inside Llewyn Davis follows the story of the destructive artist known as Llewyn Davis, who would rather destroy his career than adapt to share his music with the world. When he finally decides to try, he’s too late. The story has all the beautiful melancholy of Stephen Sondheim's work, so why not give a stage version a try?

Never Let Me Go

Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures. 

Never Let Me Go brought to life the idea of what could happen in a world of clones, and what would happen if they were being harvested for organs. It breaks the heart, but has great musical potential.

Tourists may not flock to it, but making a musical out of Never Let Me Go has haunting potential. Isn’t that the beauty of musicals? 

Mr. Holland’s Opus

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. 

Mr. Holland’s Opus follows band teacher Glenn Holland as he tries to leave his mark on the world. It’s a love letter to the art teachers in our lives, so what better way to explore those teachers than through a musical?

The movie itself features songs and a musical revue sequence. It seems like a perfect fit for the stage. Imagine the power of Glenn Holland hearing his opus at the end of the show. That would be breathtaking in a Broadway musical.

Purple Rain

Image Credit: Warner Bros. 

The music of Prince isn’t something that has ever been tried on Broadway. A movie based on his album of the same name gave the world one of its greatest songs.

Purple Rain looks at Prince as both a performer and a writer. While not autobiographical, it does offer a glance into his mind and how he crafted some iconic music. Adapting Purple Rain for the stage wouldn't be that hard. Maybe it could work as a concert version of the movie?

Interview With a Vampire

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Vampires throughout the decades the musical? Yes, please! Adapting the Anne Rice novel of the same name into a Broadway musical just feels right. Following the love story (okay they’re not in love but they should be) of Lestat and Louis, it has captured fans since the 70s.

There have been musicals about vampires before. There’s something sensual about Interview With The Vampire that would just work incredibly well on stage. Turning it into a musical allows us to explore that dynamic between Lestat and Louis in song. A vampire love ballad sounds like a perfect time! Plus the stage magic for this show and the costumes would make it well worth whatever it took to stage it.

Velvet Goldmine

Image Credit: Miramax. 

Director Todd Haynes' ode to 1970s glam rock and to homoeroticism in rock & roll has established a devoted cult following since it debuted more than 20 years ago. Since the movie also featured a number of new songs penned by Pulp, Shudder to Think and Grant Lee Buffalo, as well as vocals by Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Placebo, it seems well poised to win over Broadway with a mix of glitter and electric guitar.

Broadway does love a great homoerotic story, and the theatricality and sexual fluidity associated with glam rock–the style pioneered by such singers as David Bowie and Iggy Pop–make it rife for a flashy stage version. The Great White Way has a tendency to tone down rock musicals; Hair is a notable exception. An adaptation of Velvet Goldmine played at maximum volume could rattle the stage world.

Dancer in The Dark

Featured Image Credit: Fine Line Features. 

Ok, so Lars Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark probably won't attract the tourist crowd…or, for that matter, anybody looking for a whimsical time at the theatre. Still, with a soundtrack by Bjork and a plot about a blind woman imagining her life as a movie musical, Dancer could manage to conquer Broadway. 

Much as Bjork also earned raves for her performance, the role of Salma offers a plumb to an actress of incredible vocal and dramatic gifts. If audiences sobbed in the film's final scene, imagine the tear-jerking hysteria as the curtain falls.

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Movies That Should Be Broadway Musicals


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