Producers just can’t stop reimagining hit movies as stage musicals, can they? The latest one to fall victim to the trend is Moulin Rouge!, Baz Luhrmann’s dreamlike extravaganza in which Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor spent two hours belting out tunes by musical geniuses like Elton John, David Bowie, and Nirvana. Set in Paris during the Belle Époque, the 2001 film is the story of an idealistic writer who falls in love with a celebrated courtesan amid a kaleidoscopic environment of sex, vice, and gaiety. And now the film is being developed for the stage by Global Creatures, Variety reports. Interesting choice.
Sure, anyone can add a couple of song-and-dance numbers to an underdog boxing story like Rocky, a Lovecraftian splatterfest like Re-Animator, or an animated film about sentient plastic beings like Toy Story. Those musicals practically write themselves. But how are they going to take a wall-to-wall fantasia with a soundtrack of Top 40 pop song adaptations and figure out a way to put that on stage? It just seems crazy!
Thankfully, that’s not our problem. The unenviable task of adapting the film will fall upon the shoulders of writer John Logan (Skyfall) and director Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). Luhrmann, who is probably mortified at the thought of his vision being perverted in such a manner, tried his best to put a good spin on the news. “It’s immensely gratifying to know that a new wave of artists will be leading Moulin Rouge! into its rightful theatrical realm,” he claimed in a statement.