10 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 films that should be made into Broadway shows!

1. Across the Universe

Across the Universe1



Maybe it is because it is directed by Broadway director Julie Taymor or maybe it is just that it is already a musical but the movie Across the Universe would be a perfect musical to hit Broadway. It is interesting that we haven’t really had a Broadway show using the songs of the Beatles yet and there’s something about Across the Universe that just works so translating the film to stage would work incredibly well.

The movie is set around characters who are 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 and 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: Sony Pictures Releasing. 

2. Zodiac


Zodiac is David Fincher's 2007 film that follows the case of the Zodiac Killer in the San Francisco area in the late 60s. So why not make it a musical? Yes, this movie is a strange choice but this movie also has a strange online history. Many of us take comfort in it because it is a group of men trying their best to do their job and stop the Zodiac Killer before it is too late and getting to see Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal, and more all try to take on the infamous unsolved mystery is somewhat soothing.

And it wouldn’t be the first time we focused our movie to musical energy on one surrounding murder. American Psycho the Musical may have been short-lived but it was a beautiful musical and off-Broadway has been home to such shows as Silence which is a musical based on Silence of the Lambs and more. So why not let Zodiac have that treatment? Just think of the costumes!

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures. 

3. I, Tonya

I Tonya scaled

So, there was a show about Tonya Harding that was running in Soho for a while and I know this because I went to see it because I love I, Tonya so much but I would love a musical about the infamous rise and fall of Tonya Harding during the 1994 Winter Olympics. The movie is based on a series of interviews conducted by those who knew Tonya Harding and were around her during the time when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked prior to the Olympics and share Tonya’s side of the story.

It’s funny, dark, and a wild look into the world of Harding and those who were associated with her but it is also the perfect set up for a musical. You could easily have the interviews be songs and while yes, the ice skating part of it all could be difficult but with a bit of stage magic, it will be beautiful.

Image Credit: NEON. 

4. Rocketman


Making a stage musical out of a movie musical would be easy and yet it has taken years for Broadway to utilize it. Moulin Rouge! just recently opened on Broadway despite being a widely successful movie musical first and so now that Broadway has seen what a successful musical movie can do on Broadway, why not try to bring Rocketman to life?

The Dexter Fletcher movie about the life of Elton John was filled with outlandish costumes, over-the-top stories, and a surreal approach to how Elton John remembered his climb to fame, and it was all told through the beautiful music of Elton John. 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 getting to see Reginald Dwight become the Elton John that we all know and love today. Bonus points if it gets Taron Egerton to Broadway.

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures. 

5. Easy A

Easy A

Easy A is already an adaptation of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (sort of) and while I think that Nathaniel Hawthorne would have hated that movie, I think that adapting Easy A into a musical would be fun and fresh. And would also probably have Nathaniel Hawthorne rolling in his grave.

Olive is a student who becomes the source of scandal at her school and while the movie is very much a product of the 2010 era of girl power flicks, it is a classic for a reason. And adapting it into a musical a la the recent Broadway musical of Mean Girls, we can have a bit of that nostalgia for the movies we knew and loved when we were younger while also making Easy A for a new audience. Just imagine having songs from female artists from 2010 making up the music for this? It’d be incredible to see.

Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing. 

6. Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis

Again, why not make a movie that already has a musical component to it into a Broadway show? I wouldn’t necessarily call Inside Llewyn Davis a musical but it is a movie about a musician that features quite a bit of his music played throughout the film. It wouldn’t be the happiest experience you’d have on Broadway but it would be an iconic movie-to-stage adaptation.

Inside Llewyn Davis follows the story of the destructive artist known as Llewyn Davis, who would rather destroy his career than do what he needs to in order to share his music with the world and when he finally decides to try, he’s too late. It’s painful, it is emotional and yet we put ourselves through it time and time again watching Oscar Isaac as Llewyn Davis and that’s honestly the same kind of pain that I normally feel watching a Stephen Sondheim musical so why not experience it with a Broadway version of Inside Llewyn Davis?

Image Credit: CBS Films. 

7. Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go was an adaptation of the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro that brought to life the idea of what could happen in a world of clones, primarily what would happen to the clones if they were being harvested for organs for the humans who made them. It is heartbreaking and nearly always timely but bringing the story to life on stage would be a beautiful look into the themes within the novel as well as visually stunning and emotionally draining.

It wouldn’t be a show that I think tourists would flock to but making a musical out of Never Let Me Go would work for both theatre fans and fans of the novel and movie because it is a story that stays with you for a long while and isn’t that the beauty of musicals? We can relive them time and time again through the cast recordings or going back to the theatre?

Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures. 

8. Mr. Holland’s Opus

Mr. Hollands Opus
Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
Directed by Stephen Herek
Shown: Glenne Headly, Richard Dreyfuss

Mr. Holland’s Opus is all about how Glenn Holland was trying to leave his mark on the world through his own music and not recognizing that his mark was, in fact, the lives he touched through his teaching of music as a school teacher. It’s a love letter to the art teachers in our lives and what better way to explore those teachers than through a musical about them?

The movie itself features songs and a musical review sequence but it isn’t a musical. Still, it would be easy to turn it into one like a serious version of what Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber did with School of Rock. Because when you stop and imagine the power of Glenn Holland hearing his opus at the end of the show? Sitting as his students from years past come to celebrate him? That would be absolutely breathtaking in a Broadway musical and we all deserve to see it.

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. 

9. Purple Rain

Purple Rain

The music of Prince isn’t something that has ever been tried on Broadway and while we probably shouldn’t attempt to do it, we could explore his music through Purple Rain. A movie based on his album of the same name, it gave the world one of its greatest songs and showed a musician who was too stuck in his own head to listen until he finally opened himself up and wrote “Purple Rain” alongside his bandmates.

It’s a look at Prince as both a performer and writer and while not autobiographical, does give us a bit of a glance into his mind and how he crafted some of the songs we’ve come to know Prince for. It is very much a product of the 80s but adapting Purple Rain for the stage could be easy enough. Maybe something a la Hedwig and the Angry Inch and perform it as a concert version of the movie?

Image Credit: Warner Bros. 

10. Interview With a Vampire

interview with a vampire

Vampires throughout the decades the musical? Yes, please! There’s a reason that fans love Interview With the Vampire and adapting the Anne Rice novel and the 1994 film of the same name into a Broadway musical somehow just feels right. Following the love story (okay they’re not in love but they should be) of Lestat and Louis, it is a story that has captured fans since the 70s.

There have been musicals about vampires before. Plenty of incorporating Dracula into the mix but there’s something incredibly sensual about Interview With The Vampire that would just work incredibly well on stage and turning it into a musical gives us the opportunity to explore that dynamic between Lestat and Louis in song. A vampire love ballad sounds like a perfect time to me! Plus, again, the stage magic for this show and the costumes would make it well worth whatever it took to stage it.

Image Credit: Warner Bros. 

This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Maggie Lovitt. 

Rachel Leishman is a writer based in New York City.  She specializes in yelling about her favorite properties. A real-life Leslie Knope, she loves her fictional characters and knows probably too much about Harrison Ford's career.