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13 musicals set for big screen adaptations

Which one are you most looking forward to seeing?

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1. Mary Poppins

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt
© David Gordon/Dan Wooller

If you've been wandering around London recently and thought you spotted Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda feeding the birds, then it might not have been a hallucination. Miranda is currently living in the capital and shooting the sequel to Disney's Mary Poppins.

Catchily titled Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt stars as everyone's favourite nanny who is called upon to help the now grown-up Jane and Michael Banks. With the aid of her friend Jack (Miranda), she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Release date: Christmas Day 2018

2. Wicked

Willemijn Verkaik
© Matt Crockett

This one has been doing the rounds for a while now, some would even say it's a "Popular" choice. Stephen Daldry of Billy Elliot fame is signed up to direct, but no information on casting has been announced so far.

Composer Stephen Schwartz has said that he is penning new songs for the film, and producers Universal tweeted last year that Gregory Maguire's story of Elphaba and Glinda will hit the screens in December 2019.

Rumoured release date: 20 December 2019.

3. A Star is Born

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
© Commons/David Gordon

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper will star in the fourth remake of William Wellman's 1937 film about a fading movie star who helps an aspiring actress.

Will Fetters is listed as one of the film's writers alongside Cooper, who will also make his directorial debut on the film.

Release date: 28 September 2018.

4. Beautiful

Cassidy Janson (Carole King)
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The Carole King musical has just entered its third year in the West End and is still going strong on Broadway so talk of a silver screen adaptation is no big surprise.

Megastar Tom Hanks and Sony Pictures are set to produce the film, which will have the rights to King's songs as well as those of Gerry Goffin, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann.

No release date announced at present.

5. Miss Saigon

Eva Noblezada in Miss Saigon
© Matthew Murphy

We enjoyed the cinema screening of the 25th Anniversary production of Boublil and Schonberg's musical so much we gave it five stars. At that very performance, producer Cameron Mackintosh said a fully fledged screen adaptation will happen "sooner rather than later" adding "the movie won't just be in my mind" - we see what you did there CamMack.

Danny Boyle is rumoured as a potential to helm the film, so as the show prepares to open on Broadway, keep your ears to the ground for the sound of helicopters making their way to a film studio.

No release date announced at present.

6. In the Heights

In the Heights
(c) Johan Persson

Another one that has been in the pipeline for a while. The show premiered on Broadway almost a decade ago, and recently enjoyed a successful UK premiere at the Southwark Playhouse and King's Cross Theatre.

With Miranda's star shining brighter than ever following the success of his musical Hamilton, film producers have renewed their interest in taking Usnavi and co to the big screen, including music mogul Jay Z.

No release date announced at present.

7. Hello Again

© instagram.com/helloagainmovie

Arthur Schnitzler's 1897 play La Ronde is an oft adapted piece of work - Max Gill's production is currently running at The Bunker - and Hello Again is Michael John LaChiusa's musical take on the daisy-chain story of love affairs in the 20th century.

Directed by Tom Gustafson, the cast includes multiple Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald alongside Good Wife star Martha Plimpton and Rumer Willis (daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore).

Hello Again is expected to be released later this year.

8. American Idiot

Aaron Sidwell and the cast of American Idiot
© Darren Bell

Punk rock band Green Day's musical, based on their concept album of the same name, enjoyed a West End revival at the Arts Theatre last year. Now producers HBO are said to be in talks to bring the musical, about three friends unhappy with life in suburbia, to the big screen.

The band's frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has said he will play the role of St. Jimmy in the film and, again, Tom Hanks' production company Playtone is said to be on board.

No release date announced at present.

9. Cats

Nicole Scherzinger in Cats at the London Palladium
© Alessandro Pinna

After working on the screen adaptation of Boublil and Schonberg's Les Miserables, Tom Hooper has been lined up to direct and co-produce the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's feline musical.

The show enjoyed a return to the West End last year and is currently playing on Broadway, so a host of recent stars including Nicole Scherzinger, Beverley Knight and Kerry Ellis could be in the running to play a part in the film.

No release date announced at present.

10. Finding Neverland

The cast of Finding Neverland
© Carol Rosegg

We have a feeling you'll need to be patient with this one. We've been waiting a couple of years for the stage version of Gary Barlow and James Graham's musical to come to London, so a film adaptation could be quite far down the line.

That being said, it is going to happen, at least according to the show's producer Harvey Weinstein.

No release date announced at present.

11. Guys and Dolls

The cast of Guys and Dolls
© Paul Coltas

Following its critically acclaimed return the West End last year, 20th Century Fox announced a new film adaptation of Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows, and Jo Swerling's Tony Award-winning musical.

Michael Grandage has signed up to direct the film, but he's currently up to his eyeballs with Disney's stage adaptation of Frozen, so expect this one to take a while to come to fruition too.

No release date announced at present.

12. Matilda

Matilda the Musical
© Helen Maybanks

Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's sublime stage adaptation of Roald Dahl's much loved novel is now in its 7th year in the West End. The highly anticipated film adaptation has been in the 'pre-production stage' for a few years now with Kelly returning to write the screenplay and Matthew Warchus also back on board to direct.

A Broadway contract restricts the release of any film version within six years of the show's opening there (2013), so expect Miss Trunchbull and co to hit the screens in 2019.

13. Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors
© Catherine Ashmore

Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's 1986 film is such a mainstay of musical theatre history that we can hear you all screaming "do we really need another one?!" Well yes, yes we do, according to Menken himself anyway. Talking at a special Beauty and the Beast event, the composer said that Audrey II and the gang will be heading back to the big screen in the not too distant future.

Produced by Marc Platt (Wicked) and directed by Greg Berlanti, the movie musical will feature a script by Matthew Robinson and is described as "a fresh version" of the 30 year-old film.

No release date announced at present.

It's not a musical but we're excited... People, Places and Things

Denise Gough in People, Places and Things
© Johan Persson

Denise Gough's visceral, Olivier Award-winning performance in Duncan Macmillan's play about addiction has been heralded as one of the best turns of her generation. With the majority of the show's run at the National and in the West End sold out, theatre fans will be happy to know that a screen adaptation is being considered.

We spoke with director Jeremy Herrin on the show's West End opening night who said: "I've always thought it would make a good film, because the play is so much about what the central character sees in the world around her, the medium of cinema would be a fantastic way of exploring that."