BIG FISH Stage Musical Headed to Broadway

     June 8, 2011

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It’s surprising that no Tim Burton movie has been adapted for the stage yet, no?  In 2002, Tim Burton signed on to helm Batman: The Musical.  By 2005, though, Batman Begins assumed full control of the franchise.  And obviously, a superhero musical would never, ever work on Broadway.  Burton has plenty of non-Batman material to pick from — indeed, the director will oversee a stage adaptation of Alice in Wonderland with Disney.  But c’mon, we can do better.  Enter Big Fish.

Big Fish screenwriter John August repurposed the fantastical father-son tale for the stage with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family musical).  Big Fish producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen are also on board for the musical; Susan Stroman, the Tony Award winner behind The Producers, will direct and choreograph with an eye toward a spring 2012 release.  Hit the jump for a refresher on the synopsis.

Billy Crudup plays William Bloom, a young man who never really knew his dying father, Edward (Albert Finney) outside of the tall tales he told about growing up, making his way, and meeting his mother (played as a young woman by Alison Lohman and in older age by Jessica Lange). During Edward’s last days, William and his wife Josephine (Marion Cotillard) hold bedside vigil as the old man recollects elaborate memories of his youth (in which he is played by Ewan McGregor). Still doubting the the legends and folklore, William makes a journey to meet a mysterious woman (Helena Bonham Carter) from whom Edward had bought property. Steve Buscemi and Danny De Vito also star. [Fandango]

The New York Times indicates the musical is an adaptation of both the movie and the novel by Daniel Wallace.  It’s unclear how involved Burton is, and casting news waits for the future, but this has potential.  15-year-old me loved the movie.  Matt sure liked it.  To contrast, however-old-I-was-last-year me killed himself walking out of Alice.

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