By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
Will you love me tomorrow? Looks like audiences everywhere will continue to love Carole King and her incredible story. It was just announced that Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will sing into audiences hearts on the big screen.
With the help of Tom Hanks, his producing partner Gary Goetzman, Sony Pictures and Paul Blake, the Tony Award nominated musical will soon hit the big screen. Douglas McGrath, who wrote the book for the musical, is working on the screenplay for the film as well.
Having a total of seven Tony Award nomination, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical astounded Broadway audiences last season. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the story of Carole Klein/King, a Brooklyn girl with a passion for songwriting. She fights her way into the record business as a teenager and by the time she reaches her twenties she has the husband of her dreams, Gerry Goffin, two life-long friends, Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, and a flourishing career writing for some of the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. When her personal life begins to crack under the pressure, she manages to find her true voice and write the soundtrack for a generation.
Carole King’s music has transcended generations. She is most notable for her debut album Tapestry, which earned her 1972 Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. Her lyrics are legendary and her voice is iconic.
Jessie Mueller originated the role of Carole King on Broadway this past year. The role earned her the 2014 Drama Desk and Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Mueller skyrocketed to Broadway stardom with the help of King and Goffin’s chart topping hits. She recently departed the role in March 2015 and passed the role onto Broadway newcomer Chilina Kennedy. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical has also been turned into a West End production starring Katie Brayben. The West End production is currently up for 8 Laurence Olivier Awards this year. The musical will also kick off a U.S wide tour this coming fall.
Sony executive Michael De Luca spoke out about the recent announcement and said, “Theatrical audiences both on Broadway and in the West End have responded to ‘Beautiful’ not only to relive Carole King’s timeless classics, but to experience the ways they illustrate her triumphant and joyful life story,” He concluded by stating, “We’re thrilled to be bringing this inspiring and powerful musical to movie audiences everywhere.”
Hollywood has an extreme fascination with musicals. In recent years, the film industry has noticed that audiences love musicals (something Broadway fans have known for years). Hollywood has recognized that musicals can hit a wide demographic. The obsession with turning beloved musicals into blockbuster films has now reached a fever pitch and continues to escalade. Just in recent years hit Broadway musicals such as The Last Five Years, Les Miserables, Jersey Boys and Into the Woods were turned into films. As Hollywood continues to push out blockbusters year after year, it looks like the movie musical genre is here to stay. With a long history in Hollywood, adapting stage musicals to beloved movies tends to be a trend that will continue.
The next question on fans minds, who will play Carole? With Jessie Mueller recently departing the Broadway musical could she be tapped to reprise her Tony Award winning role? And with new Carole’s having been sought after for the U.S Tour and the West End production, are there more Carole-look-alikes out there that can perform in the movie? The hardest part with adapting musicals into movies is the casting. In recent years, musical adaptations have seen a combination of Hollywood and Broadway actors. In this years blockbuster hit, Into the Woods, the cast was balanced between Broadway veterans and A-List Hollywood actors. Could this be a technique Beautiful: The Carole King Musical can use? Only time and more information will determine this factor.
More news is to be released as production begins but for now fans can sit back and listen to some of Carole King’s classic songs and ponder their dream casting.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is currently playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in NYC, The Aldwych Theatre in London and the U.S National Tour will kick off this Fall.