10 non-musical movies that were turned into musicals

Although there is a long history of films and plays based on books and stories crossing the media, the next Mathilde the musical presents an intriguing new concept: a film inspired by a musical, itself inspired by a film (itself inspired by the original novel by Roald Dahl).

While few musicals have so many connections between different versions, there are several musicals that take the best of a movie and bring it to life on stage. These musicals delve into the minds of popular characters, helping them express their deepest emotions and relive their greatest moments through haunting songs. This trend has been particularly common since the turn of the last century, and fans will be delighted to learn that some of their favorite movies may be turning into musicals sooner than they think.


groundhog day

The musical adaptation of groundhog day premiered in London in 2016 before moving to Broadway in 2017. Along with overwhelmingly positive reviews, the musical was nominated for eight Olivier Awards and won two. Unfortunately, although the musical was also nominated for seven Tony Awards, it was pitted against hits like Dear Evan Hansen, Natasha, Pierre and the great comet of 1812and Come from afarpreventing him from winning.

Although it didn’t win many awards, the show was strong, bringing together much of Matildathe creative team to make an adaptation that respects the original while updating it for the modern world. The musical brilliantly captures the fun of the 1993 classic, while giving it new depth by focusing on other characters who metaphorically live life on a loop.

Big fish

The Big fish the musical is based on both the 2003 film of the same name and the 1998 novel Big Fish: A novel of mythical proportions. After its Chicago premiere, the show moved to Broadway in 2013 and to the West End in 2017, winning Jimmy Awards for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress.

The musical follows Will Bloom as he tries to better understand his father before his father dies and his son is born. While there are a few differences between the movie and the show, mostly involving story elements composed for clarity, it perfectly captures the fragile restoration of a father and son’s relationship.

Bring it on

Fans of Lin Manuel Miranda’s work may be surprised to learn that in addition to his original work, he also successfully co-wrote the musical adaptation of Bring it on. The musical premiered in Atlanta before beginning a nationwide tour that took to Broadway. Although it did not win any major awards, the musical is renowned for its impressive acrobatic staging and is notable for being the first Broadway musical to feature a transgender high school character.

One important thing to keep in mind about this musical is that although it is named after the 2000 film, it has a very different plot. Cheerleading captain Campbell Davis puts together the best team possible before she is abruptly transferred to another school without a team. When she learns that her transfer was a deliberate move by a member of her old team, she convinces her new school’s dance team to help her take on the saboteur.


The musical version of Amelie premiered in 2015 before moving to Broadway two years later, where the title role was taken by hamiltonis Phillipa Soo. A highly edited version of the musical then opened in the West End in 2019, to rave reviews.

The musical follows the same plot as the film, with Amélie engaging in anonymous acts of kindness. The West End version of the musical was particularly intriguing, as the actors were responsible for their own backing and were therefore entirely responsible for their storytelling.

Finding Neverland

There are many plays, musicals and films on Peter Panand the movie-inspired musical Finding Neverland is a particularly magical version. A 1998 piece titled The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee prompted the 2004 film Finding Neverlandwhich was made into a musical in 2012. The production premiered in Leicester before finally moving to Broadway in 2015.

The musical follows the overall plot of the musical, exploring JM Barrie’s relationship with single mother Sylvia and her four sons: George, Jack, Michael and Peter. Perhaps even more so than the film, the musical does a brilliant job of showing the transition from boy games to the magic of Peter Pan and is even stronger in its more emotional moments, focusing on the characters’ connections to each other.


Phantom was one of Patrick Swayze’s best films, which meant adapting had to be difficult. The musical premiered in Manchester in 2011, moving to the West End the same year and hitting Broadway the next.

The musical makes no attempt to update its source material, or exploit the strengths and limitations of the theatrical setting, which means that while fans of the original will love its consistency, they may also wonder why they have paid to see it live. while they could just as easily stream the film from their homes.


While few fans would guess Rocky would be a good musical, they might be surprised. Granted, the musical was most successful internationally, premiering in Hamburg, Germany, but it moved to Broadway in 2014 before continuing to spread across Europe.

The musical adaptation is mostly made up of original songs, although a few classics from the film, like “Eye of the Tiger”, were also included. The show stays very close to its cinematic origins, but the contrast between Rocky’s power ballads and Adrian’s ballads elevates their relationship to new heights, proving the story fits surprisingly well.


Tootsie originally premiered in Chicago in 2018 before heading to Broadway the following year. While the show, and in particular star Santino Fontana, has been incredibly successful, the show has been plagued with controversy as the suggestion that a man would dress as a woman for professional gain is increasingly common. in anti-trans rhetoric. This was not helped by the announcement of Mrs. Doubtfire: The Musicalwhich premiered in Seattle the same year Tootsie came to Broadway.

As for how the show translates the original film, the overall plot remains the same, although Michael Dorsey’s film version finds success on a soap opera, while the musical’s version, fittingly, finds fame on Broadway. This shift allowed theatrical conventions to work with the plot, rather than against it, while keeping the comedy strong.

Young Frankenstein

With so many cult classic films turned into musicals, it was only a matter of time before Young Frankenstein joined their number. Mel Brooks is calling Young Frankenstein “by far the best movie I’ve ever done”, and so the idea of ​​him taking it to Broadway made big waves. The musical had tryouts in Seattle before coming to Broadway in 2007. Unfortunately, the musical didn’t take off as much as Brooks hoped, although a version edited in London’s West End in 2017 received accolades. extremely positive reviews.

The plot is much the same as the film, with Frederick attempting to distance himself from Frankenstein’s legacy. While there are some minor changes, the biggest difference is the story’s conclusion, which is much more substantial in the musical. Although it may not have received rave reviews on Broadway, fans of the original consistently enjoy the stage production due to the massive audience participation, at the The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Back to the future

Now that the public has officially passed the future presented in back to the future 2, it should come as no surprise that the franchise breaks new ground as a musical. The show premiered at Manchester Opera House before moving to London’s West End in 2021. The show received positive reviews and won the 2022 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, accolades that bode well for its move. on Broadway in 2023.

The show uses a combination of new songs and the most iconic songs from the film score to tell a story that mostly follows the plot of the film, as Marty travels from 1985 to 1955 and must settle down with his parents or risk disappearing in never. The musical makes a few key changes, including a less politically controversial reason for Doc Brown’s death, but mostly follows the plot of the film, making it a strong homage to the sci-fi classic.

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