We've seen plenty of classic films remade, rebooted, and "re-imagined" over the entire history of film. One year "The Maltese Falcon" is released, but only five years later it's remade and renamed "Satan Met A Lady," only to be remade a third time because the original name sounded good, but this kid named Bogart wants to play the lead. It's almost like the entire entertainment industry is stuck in its own version of Groundhog Day now that you think about it. Which is really funny, because guess what's looking to come to a musical stage near you? I-t's Groundhog Day!
THR says Tim Minchin, the lyricist and composer behind the Tony Award winning adaptation of Matilda, has been named the as the lucky guy to write the music and lyrics to a stage adaptation of the Harold Ramis/Bill Murray classic. The book will be written by Danny Rubin, the writer behind the original screenplay for Groundhog Day, which was then adapted into the film we saw today.
Much like the transition from Rubin's words to Ramis' vision, don't expect an exact carbon copy of the story you know and love, as Tim Minchin as stipulated that, "[his] version of Groundhog Day is going to be both instantly recognizable, and utterly different." Whether it's going to stick with some of the original quirks that were cut from the film, like the fact that the whole time loop was caused by a curse, or write a brand new story to follow with some of the classic beats scattered throughout it, is yet to be seen.
What we do know is that the show has gone through a workshop as early as this past summer, and it's still a toss up as to whether it'll premiere in London or in New York. Further cracking wise about the project's chances of happening, Tim Minichin said the following:
"But who knows? Maybe the whole project will get caught in a temporal vortex and we won’t be able to finish writing it until we’ve achieved wisdom,"
Joking or not, Minchin does raise a good point about how fickle investors can be with stage bound musicals. It was only a couple of years ago that The Hudsucker Proxy was in development to be brought to the stage, and workshop or not it still hasn't hit the stage as planned. Given the legacy that Groundhog Day has accrued in the 21 years since it bowed, it would be a good bet that the latter would hit stages before the former every would.
As for whether it would be a good idea to adapt Groundhog Day for the stage, it's 50/50 at this point. The concept could make for some stirring musical numbers, and some really fun set pieces. But at the same time, how do you write a song about punching Ned Ryerson in the face ad infinitum? Guess we'll just have to wait until more songs from Groundhog Day are released.