Movie Musicals Are Back? ‘Follies’ Joins The Ranks!

Screenshots via YouTube @RiversideTheatres

Theatre gays and theatre geeks, rejoice! We have yet another announced musical for the big screen.

According to Deadline, Heyday and BBC Films recently secured the rights to produce a Follies movie musical. The film based on the 1971 Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim will be adapted by Dominic Cooke. Cooke has worked on the musical before. He directed a revival of Follies for London’s National Theatre in 2017, which was then broadcast live in movie theaters across the globe.


Said Sondheim in a statement: “Over the years, there have been many attempts to bring Follies to the screen, but not until Dominic Cooke’s brilliant production at the National Theatre of Great Britain did it seem like it could be a real movie. I’m more than delighted, I’m thrilled, that it’s finally going to happen.”

Follies, by celebrated lyricist, playwright, and librettist Stephen Sondheim, takes a close look at the life of making theatre. The story follows a reunion of former performers for a Broadway theater scheduled for demolition. The group then reminisce about “the good ol’ days” while looking on toward the future.

This is the latest in an ongoing list of announced movie adaptions for Broadway hits. Many are waiting trepidatiously for the holiday time release of Cats, which stars a long list of celebrities like Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, and Rebel Wilson.


Then, Steven Spielberg is working on a West Side Story remake with Ansel Elgort as Tony. The film has finished filming and is in post-production with a set release date for 2020. The same can be said for Lin Manuel-Miranda’s In the Heights, which was his first Tony Award-winning Broadway musical before Hamilton skyrocketed him to household name status.

Paramount is working on a Grease prequel, which will center on the summer fling lead characters Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko sing about in the song “Summer Lovin’.” Then, Wicked is supposed to be in the works, but the film has been delayed repeatedly since a movie version was announced.

Then don’t forget, Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins and Hugh Jackman’s The Greatest Showman were successes in their own right. And with musical performances like The Little Mermaid, Grease, Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Wiz, and more thriving on tv, it appears that movie/tv musicals are back in business.

1 thought on “Movie Musicals Are Back? ‘Follies’ Joins The Ranks!”

  1. What a shame that so many great performers who’ve done productions over the years have left us. From the Lincoln Center concert: Lee Remick as Phyllis; Barbara Cook as Sally; Elaine Stritch as Hattie; Betty Comden and Adolph Green as the Whitmans, Liliane Montevechi as Solange; Phyllis Newman as Stella From the 2011 revival: Jan Maxwell who was so great as Phyllis, I went back to see it again and would have gone a third time, had I not been so stupid (I saw a wretched trio of one acts instead that day). And of course, the renowned Paper Mill Playhouse production with Ann Miller, Kay Ballard, Montevechi again and Eddie Bracken. I think Jennifer Hudson would be a terrific Stella and would blow audiences away with her rendition of Who’s That Woman? and Judi Dench would be brilliant as Hattie, singing Broadway Baby. Follies is a magnificent musical and needs to be made into a great movie musical, on the order of Footlight Parade, Cabaret and Singin’ in the Rain!!


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