In March last year I wrote a post about all of the exciting musical films coming out in the year ahead. Some of them, such as Fame, Were the World Mine and Bandslam, have come and gone, while others are still in production! Here’s an update on those films and a guide to all the other interesting new musical films coming out this year. Since March we have of course had the huge success of Glee, so the trend for new musicals is not likely to slow down any time soon. It will be very interesting to see what the Glee stars will do when they get a break from filming the series, as I expect many them will be cast in new musical film projects this year.
After last year’s drama of Zac Efron dropping out and being replaced by musical newbie Chace Crawford, and rumours of Julianne Hough being just too awful an actress to get the role of Ariel (which she still seems to have gotten in the end), this film is apparently finally set to start filming this month. The release date has now been put back to 2011, and even more bad news: someone on IMDB has stated that there will be no singing in Footloose, so it won’t even really be a musical at all! I think it may be time to give up on this one…
Queen Latifah and Nikki Blonsky are the only confirmed stars so far, reprising their roles from the 2007 Hairspray film. Not much seems to have happened in the last year, or if it has it’s been kept very secret. Nikki was quoted in December as being unsure whether Zefron would be in the sequel, and the only other new info I’ve found is that seventeen new songs have been written for the film. Let’s hope there’s at least one as good as You Can’t Stop The Beat!
High School Musical 4
The fourth instalment of HSM is expected in November this year, and since it will not feature the main stars of the first three films, Disney have decided to release it to TV and then DVD, rather than risk it being a flop at the cinema. The only original star who has confirmed their involvement so far is Bart Johnson who plays Coach Bolton. The coach is of course also the on-screen father of Troy (Zac Efron’s character), so it’s possible Zac could make a cameo appearance at least.
In The Heights
Another HSM-related venture, as Kenny Ortega (director of the first three HSM films) is behind the film adaptation of the Broadway hit, In The Heights. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the music and lyrics of the musical, will reprise the lead role of Usnavi which he originated. This therefore means that HSM star Corbin Bleu will not be in the film (he is currently playing Usnavi on Broadway), but Robin de Jesus, who originated the role of Sunny and also starred in Camp, could be in the cast of the film if it doesn’t clash with his performances in La Cage aux Folles, which opens on Broadway next month.
Todd Graff’s last musical film, Bandslam, wasn’t the biggest success, but I personally enjoyed it and I can’t have been the only one as he’s been chosen to direct a big budget musical film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jim Carrey, of all people! They’ll probably be terrible singers, but Jake hasn’t done a film worth watching for years so I’m excited nonetheless. The film is an adaptation of a 1950s musical of the same name, which unfortunately involves baseball, but hopefully with Todd’s great sense of humour the dull subject won’t be taken too seriously.
Mamma Mia 2
The sequel to the 2008 film version of Mamma Mia has not been confirmed, but an important man from Universal Studios has said that he wants to make Mamma Mia 2, although it will take a few years to do so. However, most of the original cast have already confirmed that they would like to reprise their roles, so it looks like it will go ahead even if we have a long wait until we see it. I wonder if Benny and Bjorn will write new songs for it? There are plenty of ABBA songs that weren’t in the first film, but without the classics (which have mostly been used) it wouldn’t be a great representation of ABBA.