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Holiday sentimentalist Paul McCartney making stage musical out of It’s A Wonderful Life

Photo: Jim Dyson (Getty Images), RKO Radio Picture (Getty Images)

You can’t blame Paul McCartney for being enthusiastic about Christmas: After all, every year his horrible song “Wonderful Christmastime” gets trotted out and nets him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in royalties. Not that he needs the money: The 77-year-old just wrapped up his latest U.S. tour, and instead of taking a break, is diving straight into his next project: A musical stage version of the 1946 classic holiday film It’s A Wonderful Life.

Deadline reports that the musical would be produced by British producer Bill Kenwright, and that McCartney is working with Lee Hall, who previously co-wrote Billy Elliott with Elton John. Hall is “reportedly writing the book and co-writing the lyrics for the McCartney version of the Frank Capra classic.”


New York Post writer Johnny Oleksinski says he heard the demos McCartney’s been working on in London, and “the singer performs every role from George Bailey to Mr. Potter and even tries his hand at acting. The more than 10 finished songs sound like a bona fide lost Beatles album, with one spectacular number’s rousing ending bringing to mind the ‘Na Na Na Na Na’s of ‘Hey Jude.’” Sounds potentially promising, as long as these are all new songs and that big finish doesn’t kick off with, “The mood is right, the spirit’s up…” [shudder].

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Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.