Music is ringing in our ears! Get ready for Broadway on the silver screen as movie musicals gear up for their film premieres this year.
Since the premiere of The Jazz Singer in 1927, Hollywood movies have experimented with adapting musicals for the big screen. There have been endless stage-to-screen adaptations ranging from shows like Grease, Chicago, Mamma Mia!, and Cats.
While COVID-19 dimmed Broadway lights in March of 2020, Hollywood hasn’t stopped producing movie musicals. In July of 2020, Disney+ dropped Lin Manuel Miranda’s, Tony-winning Hamilton. Ryan Murphy’s film adaptation of the Broadway musical Prom had a limited release in movie theaters before its release on Netflix in December 2020.
Without further ado, here is a list of the best upcoming movie musicals we’re excited to watch in theaters and streaming services this year.
Upcoming movie musicals: In the Heights
Based on the stage musical created by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin Manuel Miranda and directed by Jon M. Chu, the movie follows a bodega owner in Washington Heights, New York City, who inherits his late grandmother’s lottery winnings. Planning to retire on a beach in the Dominican Republic, he doubts leaving when he must say goodbye to the people living on his block. The movie simultaneously tells the story of a community and their relationships with their identity, heritage, and each other.
Hamilton star Anthony Ramos leads the cast alongside Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, and Lin Manuel Miranda. The movie was initially set to release last summer, but Warner Bros. delayed the premiere due to the pandemic.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Jon M. Chu shared his excitement about the project: “We’ve had a hard year but this movie has so much joy, so much passion, so much community and so much hope in it that it pours out in every frame.”
Movie watchers are awaiting its release, thrilled to finally see the musical come to life on-screen.
I truly cannot wait for June 11th!! In The Heights soundtrack sounds amazing!! pic.twitter.com/xBHEkzGab0
— ༺ Blue ༻ (@BlueieAfk) May 12, 2021
If the soundtrack is anything like the movie, we can’t wait!
do you cry every single time you come across an In the Heights trailer or are you normal
— s̶a̶d̶f̶l̶o̶w̶e̶r̶ 🌻 samflower (@bagyongmaria) May 14, 2021
Have you had your daily cry after watching the trailer? Just wait.
Others are ready to see themselves represented.
Words can’t describe the profound experience of witnessing such a gorgeously authentic representation of my community, a film that gives Latinos the bombastic musical that they deserve. IN THE HEIGHTS is a fist pumping powerhouse. Exceeded my highest expectations. pic.twitter.com/ltGplUEtBs
— Ezra Cubero (@EzraCubero) April 16, 2021
Representation on the big screen matters! It shows that we’re not alone.
yesterday i saw the “in the heights” early screening and im just so happy and proud that latinos have this representation in such a beautiful movie. i hope it wins EVERY award ❤️ pic.twitter.com/C5HtRUqqoD
— bren (@intheheiqhts) April 16, 2021
We hope it gets awards too.
In the Heights will be released in movie theaters and on HBO Max on June 11, but we think this movie deserve a movie theater level sound experience!
Upcoming movie musicals: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Inspired by the 2011 documentary Jamie: Drag Queen, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie follows sixteen-year-old Jamie as he overcomes bullying and prejudice from his dreams of becoming a drag queen.
Jonathan Butterell makes his feature directorial debut in this film adaptation. The movie stars Max Harwood as Jamie, Sarah Lancashire, Lauren Patel, Shobna Gulati, Ralph Ineson, Adeel Akhtar, Samuel Bottomley, Sharon Horgan, and Richard E. Grant.
When the trailer first dropped in 2020, people conveyed their happiness about the timing of the adaptation.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is one of my favourite shows of all time and I’m so glad everyone is now going to get to see this story, please go see it if you can!!! https://t.co/mMm1NshiTR
— Georgia 💀 (@georgiamariexo) October 11, 2020
While the film was supposed to be released in the theaters, Amazon Studios will now distribute it on their streaming service.
“I am thrilled that our film — the story of taking your place in the world with joy, pride, and acceptance — will be winging its way across the world with the Amazon Family,” Butterell told Variety. “Let’s come together to celebrate the glorious and fabulous uniqueness of each and every one of us.”
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will be released on September 17, 2021, on Amazon Prime.
Upcoming movie musicals: Dear Evan Hansen
The Tony-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen will make its way to theaters this fall. Ben Platt stars as Evan Hansen, a high school student with social anxiety disorder. When one of his letters gets mistaken for his classmate’s suicide note, Evan gets himself caught in a web of lies.
The cast list also includes celebs like Kaitlyn Denver, Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Danny Pino, Nik Dodani, Amandla Stenberg, and Colton Ryan. Directed by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being A Wallflower) and produced by Marc Platt (La La Land, Into the Woods, Mary Poppins Returns) and Adam Siegel (2 Guns, Drive), the film centers on the need to belong amid the social-media age.
While Ben Platt originated the role on Broadway in 2017, he opened up about his nerves playing a 17-year-old boy at 27 years old in the film adaptation.
“I certainly was hesitant at the beginning,” Ben told Vanity Fair. “The legacy of the stage performance has really changed my life, and to jeopardize that legacy in any way is a very scary thing. But I think in the back of my mind, I always felt [that] I’m going to want to show this to my children one day, and I’m going to want this immortalized.”
As the trailer dropped on May 17, people who hadn’t seen the show were shocked about the musical’s plot.
wait THAT’S what dear evan hansen is about??????
— 🐛 Emma Stefansky 🐛 (@stefabsky) May 18, 2021
the Wikipedia plot summary of dear evan hansen is probably the longest trip I’ve taken since the pandemic started
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) May 18, 2021
However, many praised the creative team’s casting choices.
— Zach Gilbert (@zachbgilbert) May 18, 2021
All we know is that we aren’t ready for the overcoming of emotions we’ll feel when we see it in theaters.
Who is crying because of the trailer of Dear Evan Hansen the movie staring Ben Platt? Me. pic.twitter.com/1eODw8PeRk
— LuCi’Boulette 🌱 / PAINx3 🌙 (@WinterStalkeur) May 18, 2021
Dear Evan Hansen will be released in movie theaters on September 24, 2021.
Upcoming movie musicals: West Side Story
Steven Spielberg’s newest adaption, West Side Story, will make its way on the big screen in December. Starring newcomer Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort, the beloved musical follows two teenagers from different ethnic backgrounds and rival gangs who fall in love in 1950s New York City.
The new adaption comes after the original 1957 Broadway production and the 1960 film with Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, and Rita Moreno. The 2021 cast also features Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, and Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the original film.
Like other blockbusters, the pandemic delayed its release date. When the first trailer dropped on the night of the Oscars, social media erupted in excitement for the movie’s release.
My favorite part of the Oscars so far have been the WEST SIDE STORY trailer and that crazy F9 commercial that dropped earlier today. In other words, the Oscars should celebrate not only what’s come before but what’s to come. Should be loaded with first looks at what’s next.
— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) April 26, 2021
When I tell you I screamed after watching the West Side Story trailer #Oscars
— EJ Samson (@ejsamson) April 26, 2021
Even Rachel Zegler got in on the Twitter fun, explaining in detail her call with Steven Spielberg after seeing the trailer.
~ facetimed steven after the trailer dropped ~
me: sorry i’m such a mess
steven: i love your mess. i made a whole movie of you being a mess.
me: that’s fair.
— rachel zegler (she/her/hers) (@rachelzegler) April 26, 2021
West Side Story will be released in movie theaters on December 10, 2021.
Upcoming movie musicals: Cinderella
Singer Camila Cabello takes on the role of a lovable princess in Columbia Picture’s movie musical Cinderella. Directed by Kay Cannon and produced by James Corden, the film joins an extensive list of Cinderella film adaptations.
While the plot still follows the original Cinderella tale, reports say that James Corden and Kay Cannon’s collaboration is a refreshing and modern take on the classic film.
Camilla stars alongside Idina Menzel, Nicholas Galitzine, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, Maddie Baillio, and Charlotte Spencer. Both Camila and Idina penned original songs for the film.
Actor Billy Porter also joined the cast as Cinderella’s fairy godmother.
“We are presenting this character as genderless — at least that’s how I’m playing it. And it’s really powerful,” Billy told CBS News about his role. “It’s going to be a classic fairytale for a new generation.”
The film shared its first look on social media.
— Cinderella (@Cinderella) May 13, 2021
Fans shared their enthusiasm about the adaptation.
As a Mexican I’m looking forward to watch such a talented Latin Cinderella on the big screen and to know that my little nieces will get to feel represented!!!
— Val (@SheLovesWonder) March 4, 2021
Cinderella movie is gonna be great, i can feel it in my bones
— 𝐴𝑙𝑖𝑐𝑒 || MANESKIN SUPREMACY🇮🇹🔥 (@Panda_Lunatico_) May 15, 2021
Cinderella is set to release on Amazon Prime in September 2021.
Upcoming movie musicals: Tick, Tick. . . Boom!
Lin Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut for the musical adaptation of Tick, Tick. . . Boom! Based on the semi-autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the film follows an aspiring theater composer who’s worried he made the wrong career choice.
The movie stars Andrew Garfield, Vanessa Hudgens, Bradley Whitford, Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Jordan Fisher, and Judith Light.
In 2014, Lin Manuel Miranda played the lead character of Jonathan in Encores! Off-Center Revival. Now, he will bring the musical to the big screen.
what movie musical are you the most excited to see this year??
for me it’s ‘tick, tick… boom’
— wik (@bwaywik) May 18, 2021
Andrew Garfield in a Lin Manuel Miranda movie? Sign us up!
So, barring release date changes, not only is In The Heights, Dear Evan Hansen, and West Side Story coming this year but so is Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. That’s four studio-released movie musicals. pic.twitter.com/JOjyc8g4A9
— Gregory Ellwood – The Playlist 🎬 (@TheGregoryE) May 18, 2021
Catch us streaming it when it drops.
— Piano (@Piano82666315) May 18, 2021
How cute are these pictures from the Tick, Tick. . . Boom! set?
While there is no confirmation on the exact date of its release, Tick, Tick. . . Boom! will stream on Netflix near the end of 2021.
And if it wasn’t clear already, if you’re a fan of movie musicals, 2021 IS YOUR YEAR. pic.twitter.com/FmRgH8dkkk
— OnStage Blog (@OnstageBlog) May 18, 2021
2021 is the year for movie musicals! Which films are you excited to see? Let us know in the comments!
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