It has just been announced that 20th Century Fox has joined forces with Tony-winning producer Kevin McCollum (“Rent”), film producer John Davis (“Predator”) and Crossroads Media’s Tom McGrath to turn the studio’s films into staged productions on the Great White Way. Such films would include, X-Men, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Avatar. Is an adaptation of these film series really necessary?
According to an interview with the LA Times, 20th Century Fox Chairman and chief executive Jim Gianopulos said, “For years we have been eager to expand our entertainment expertise to the world of live stage, but we wanted to do it right and most importantly, with the right people.”
Gianopulos seems confident that these film adaptations will bring tremendous success to the studio stating, “We have been fortunate to have found great partners in Kevin, John and Tom to help to transform great Fox properties into exciting live stage entertainment for audiences everywhere.”
With such adaptations as Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, perhaps Fox is on the right track. Maybe actor Hugh Jackman, who has played the character Wolverine in 5 different Marvel franchise films, performed on Broadway numerous times and portrayed Jean Valjean in the film version of Les Miserable, could reprise his Adamantium clad Canadian hero role on the stage? For all we know, we’ll see Jackman belting out lyrics written by Elton John as he takes down Magneto after a villainous dance number.
And what of Planet of the Apes? Charlton Heston has got to be screaming at these people from up above, “DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!” One can never tell though. But is it necessary to adapt from the comic world to the theater world? We have so many films being made of our favorite caped heroes and mutant saviors that it might seem worthless to adapt such characters to the stage. What value is there to the fan? Do we really want to see a Hulk choreographed dance number or a sonnet sung by Superman? Would you go see X-Men The Musical?
Batman has a live show in the UK, with his villains and Boy Wonder sidekick fighting in front of our eyes like a Disney Theme Park performance. This is a straight from the comic live performance, not a musical or dance number like the Batusi. While it isn’t Broadway, I am sure most nerds will accept a live performance of crime fighting and special effects rather than a musical number about Mutant Registration. I for one would rather my heroes venture no further than the movie screen.