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13 musicals set for film adaptations

Which one are you most looking forward to seeing?

Judi Dench in Cats

Tom Hooper's Cats musical film is on the horizon, In The Heights has been filmed and there are whispers of a Dear Evan Hansen movie. So why not check out this list of musical films we're very excited about.

1. Cats

After working on the screen adaptation of Boublil and Schonberg's Les Miserables, Tom Hooper turned his skills to the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's feline musical.

Casting for the film is solid, with Jennifer Hudson playing Grizabella alongside other performers including Taylor Swift, James Corden and Ian McKellen. The first trailer raised a few furry eyebrows but we're very excited to see how this pans out – it'll definitely be memorable. Release date: 20 December 2019.

2. In the Heights

In the Heights
(c) Johan Persson

With Lin-Manuel 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. A cast of fantastic musical theatre, music and TV performers have shot the piece, and we'll be covering it all in big amounts of detail following a set visit earlier this year. Release date: June 26 2020

3. Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Everybody's Talking About Jamie
© Alastair Muir

Warp films has a crack cast including Richard E Grant, Sarah Lancashire and newcomer Max Harwood transforming the glorious Everybody's Talking About Jamie into a musical film. Original writers Tom MacRae and Dan Gillespie Sells are behind the project, which was first inspired from a BBC TV documentary. We can't wait to see Jamie's story being heard by more and more people. Release date: October 23, 2020.

4. West Side Story

Ezra Menas, Ben Cook, Sean Harrison Jones, Mike Faist, Patrick Higgins, Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, David Alvarez, Julius Anthony Rubio, Ricardo Zayas, Josh Andrés Rivera, Sebastian Serra, and Carlos Sánchez Falú star in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story film adaptation
© Amblin

Drama and film greats Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg are coming together to work on a new version of the classic musical by Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. The cast is a mix of film greats and upcoming stars, and the first look photo was very intriguing. 18 December 2020

5. Wicked

Nikki Bentley (Elphaba) and Helen Woolf (Glinda)
© Wicked, photo by 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 reports are that Gregory Maguire's story of Elphaba and Glinda will hit the screens in December 2021, according to distributor Universal. Release date: 22 December 2021.

6. Sunset Boulevard

Glenn Close at the curtain call for Sunset Boulevard in London
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Glenn Close has made no secret of the fact she is gunning for a film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, and teased that the film may be shooting very very soon. Everybody's Talking About Jamie's Tom MacRae is signed on to adapt, which makes Close's presence at MacRae's hit musical earlier this year intriguing. Release date rumoured for 2020

7. The Prom

James Corden
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

It hasn't run in the UK just yet, but a film version of The Prom may arrive first – Awkwafina, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells and Meryl Streep have all apparently been orbiting roles in a Netflix movie version of the hit Broadway musical. It got six Tony Award nominations when it opened on the Great White Way, with Glee's Ryan Murphy attached to take it onto the big screen in 2020. Release date rumoured for 2020

8. Dear Evan Hansen

The Broadway cast of Dear Evan Hansen
© Matthew Murphy

It won a proverbial mass of Tony Awards and must be planning to do the same at next year's Oliviers, so it was inevitable that Pasek and Paul's tearjerker musical was going to be headed for the big screen. No casting or release dates yet, but we'd wait for forever to hear the sweet score on the silver screen. No release date announced at present.

9. Beautiful

Cassidy Janson (Carole King)
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The Carole King musical finished in the West End a while back (it is about to head out on tour again) and will close on Broadway in October so talk of a film adaptation is no big surprise. Last we heard (a while back!) 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.

10. Tick, Tick...Boom!

Lin-Manuel Miranda
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Jonathan Larson (of RENT fame) was responsible for this 2001 musical, about a young theatre composer who works as waiter. Lin-Manuel Miranda (because he isn't busy enough already...) has signed on to direct a film version for streaming service Netflix, while Variety has said that Andrew Garfield is rumoured to lead the cast...No release date announced at present.

11. Guys and Dolls

The cast of Guys and Dolls
© Paul Coltas

The last we heard (in March 2019), TriStar Pictures has bought the rights not only to Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows, and Jo Swerling's Tony Award-winning musical, but also the 1955 film version and the original Damon Runyon short stories on which the musical is based. That sounds like they have big plans. No release date announced at present.

12. 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 a while back, 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.

13. Merrily We Roll Along

Ben Platt
© David Gordon

A team of dreams – Ben Platt, Beanie Feldstein, Blake Jenner – are said to be taking on Sondheim's iconic musical, directed by Richard Linklater. The twist is, Linklater is directing it in real-time – ie over the course of 20 years. This might need a bit of patience. No release date announced at present, but it'll be sometime in the 2040s