West Side Story (18th Dec)
Directed by Steven Spielberg and an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, the film stars Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler in the lead roles as two teenagers who, despite having affiliations with rival street gangs, the white Jets and Puerto Rican Sharks, fall in love in 1950s New York City.
West Side Story is one of the few musicals that I haven’t enjoyed watching so I’m all for a new adaptation, especially with Elogrt in the lead, although I have no idea what it will be like under the helm of Spielberg.
In The Heights (26th June)
Directed by Jon M. Chu and based on the Broadway musical of the same name by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical follows a bodega owner who has mixed feelings about closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune. The film stars Anthony Ramos in the role of Usnavi, as well as Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco, and Jimmy Smits.
Not many people will know much about this musical, but you will recognise Lin-Manuel Miranda from the recent Mary Poppins reboot, who has worked on a number of musicals (including this and Hamilton on Broadway) and who also works as a composer, recently helping to write and perform the soundtrack for Disney’s Moana.
The Prom (TBC)
Set to be released on Netflix and directed by Ryan Murphy, The Prom is based on the Broadway musical of the same name and follows a troupe of hilariously self-obsessed theatre stars who swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom. The film has a star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, Awkwafina and Keegan-Michael Key.
There’s a lot about this that sounds great, but a cheesy musical about “hilariously self-obsessed theatre stars” which stars Streep and Corden might be enough to put plenty of people off.
Set to be distributed by Amazon and directed by Leos Carax in his English-language debut, Annette tells the story of a provocative stand-up comedian (Adam Driver) and his wife (Marion Cotillard), a world-famous soprano, whose glamorous lives takes an unexpected turn when their daughter is born with a unique gift.
The cast alone is exciting enough, so I’m looking forward to hearing more about this.
Respect (21st Aug)
This biographical film is more of a drama than a musical, but it tells the life story of legendary R&B singer, Aretha Franklin, who is set to be played by Jennifer Hudson. Directed by Liesl Tommy, Hudson has an incredibly powerful voice so there are bound to some huge musical performances in this one.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (21st Oct)
Based on the hugely successful musical of the same name, which in turn is inspired by the 2011 television documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, the musical is set to be directed by Jonathan Butterell and follows a 16-year-old teenager from Sheffield as he overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies, and steps out of the darkness to become a drag queen. It stars Max Harwood, Richard E. Grant, Sharon Horgan, Sarah Lancashire and Shobna Gulati.