Posted on by Scott Delahunt

Reviews & Revues
Apologies again. The reviews will return. Life can sometimes conspire against me.

However, I noticed an ad on the bus ride home recently, leading me to realize that I’ve completely ignored one adaptation completely – musical theatre. A number of works have been adapted, from comic books (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) to alternate interpretation of a character from a movie adapted from a book (Wicked). It’s not a new idea – Andrew Lloyd Webber made his career adapting other stories to stage musicals, including Jesus Christ, Superstar and Phantom of the Opera. However, the source has changed.

The ad mentioned earlier was for Young Frankenstein: The Musical, based on the Mel Brooks movie parody of Frankenstein and other horror standards. Today’s musical is more likely to adapt from pop culture. Among the properties mined are Evil Dead and Disney’s Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. The switch to theatre brings in a different restrictions than in other media. There is no post-production to add in CGI. There are no second takes.  There are no multiple camera angles. The stage adapation has to be able to take the existing work and boil it down so that the invisible fourth wall is believable.

Looking Forward
It’s an adaptational summer movie season. Coming soon, The Avengers, taking Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Avengers and bringing it to the silver screen. The movie follows a string of hits, including Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Two characters won’t be in it, Ant-Man and Wasp, and it appears that they’re being replaced by Hawkeye and Black Widow. Also now being advertised, Men In Black III. Given the length of time since the second movie, I’m hoping the existance of the movie means the writers had what they thought was good idea for a story instead of an exec saying, “Let’s exploit the franchise.”

Future Plans
One thing I have been trying to find is a work that didn’t successfully adapt a work but was still popular enough to be considered a success, either financially or critically.  Real Steel looks like it’d fit the bill; the original short story was about human boxer taking the place of his broken down android in a robot boxing league while the movie was more heart warming for the family. Other suggestions will be welcomed.

Next week, Lost in Translation will return . . .

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