The latest piece of delightful remake news comes from Paul McCartney, who has secretly been working on a stage musical adaptation of It’s A Wonderful Life.
According to Variety, McCartney has been working on the project for some time with writer Lee Hall (the man behind the stage version of Billy Elliot, as well as the Rocketman screenplay) and producer Bill Kenwright. McCartney has been writing the show’s songs, while Hall has been collaborating on the lyrics and is writing the book.
“Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me,” McCartney said in a statement. “But Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun. It’s A Wonderful Life is a universal story we can all relate to.”
The plan is to launch the production in late 2020 in the UK before taking the show to Broadway. According to the New York Post, McCartney has already recorded more than 10 songs for the project.
The production has been in the works for a few years now, after Kenwright obtained the rights to It’s A Wonderful Life from Paramount in 2016. He reached out to McCarney, but the musician didn’t have anything solid to offer until last year.
In a statement, Kenwright said: “Out of the blue I got an email from Paul asking my thoughts on his first stab at an opening song. He wasn’t sure — but wanted to know what Lee and I thought of it? I played the demo. Lee and I were unanimous. Our hero was a musical theatre writer!”
It’s A Wonderful Life was directed by Frank Capra and released in 1946. It stars James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Ward Bond, Frank Faylen and Gloria Grahame.
Set mostly at Christmas time, the film tells the story of good man George Bailey (played by Stewart) who, after a string of unfortunate events, runs into money troubles and reaches his breaking point on Christmas eve. When he is just about ready to end it all, he is visited by an angel named Clarence (Travers), who makes it his mission to show George what the world would be like without him.
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