Bill Murray's Groundhog Day Headed To The Stage

Despite being dedicatedly silly, the Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day has become a pretty seminal work. The story of a cynical man who is forced to live out a time loop until he gets it right has appeared to inspire imitators like Edge of Tomorrow and Life After Life, while one of its quotable one-liners inspired the title of the Nicolas Cage vehicle Drive Angry. But following in the footsteps of movies like Newsies and The Producers, Groundhog Day is being transformed into a stage musical.

Tim Minchin, the composer and lyricist of the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Matilda: The Musical, teased the news on Twitter (via THR):

The link he lists above takes followers to his personal blog, where he offers a lengthy explanation of the project. Minchin will write the music and lyrics of the Groundhog Day musical, while Danny Rubin, who co-wrote the movie with Harold Ramis, will pen the stage show's book. Attached to direct is Matthew Warchus, who helmed Matilda: The Musical.

In case you're unfamiliar, here's a medley from Matilda: The Musical that was performed at the 2013 Tony Awards:

As to the Punxsutawney-set Groundhog Day, Minchin says:

"The 1993 Sony Pictures film was directed by Harold Ramis and starred Bill Murray and Andy McDowell [sic], and is a true comedy classic. However, it would be impossible to try to translate the style and tone of the movie to stage… and even if it were possible, it wouldn’t interest me. (Or Danny or Matthew, for that matter).Our version of Groundhog Day is going to be both instantly recognizable, and utterly different.The central conceit is perfectly suited to the theatre, in my opinion. In fact, I think many of its ideas could be enhanced by the stage. It has the potential to be complex, dark, visually fascinating, and thematically rich, whilst still being a joyous romantic comedy with cool tunes and lots of gags. It’s certainly not an easy job, and I’m truly honoured – and genuinely excited – that Danny is letting me have a crack at it."

He goes on to mention that yes, Stephen Sondheim was batting around the idea of a Groundhog Day musical years ago, but that Sondheim has given this version his blessing. Workshopping on the production could begin as early as this summer, meaning the show could hit stages within a few years. "You won’t hear any more about it from us until we know where and when we’re going to put it on," Minchin warns before admitting that some lucky fans who saw him play at Koko in Camden a couple of weeks back actually heard two of the musical's in-the-works ballads.

Here's hoping some clever concertgoer thought to record them.

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Kristy Puchko

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.