After the success of Mamma Mia! last year (Especially in Great Britain… what’s wrong with those people? Tone deaf it would seem) Universal and presumably every other major movie studio, is looking to replicate it’s success with… more musicals. I’m sure they’d narrow it down to more Abba musicals, if only the super group had more songs. Since they don’t, Risky Biz says Jesus Christ Superstar may be the next subject of theatrical sing-a-longs.

An adaptation of the Broadway hit is in active development at Universal under the supervision of producer Marc Platt. They’re even talking to directors, in particular they’ve had words with Marc Webb. Odds that he and Platt know each other because they both misspell their first name? I’d say absolutely certain.

Or maybe they know each other because Marc Webb is an amazing talent and the director of the best movie released so far this year. He’s the helmer of (500) Days of Summer, which you’ve heard all of us here at Cinema Blend talk about ad nauseum, while simultaneously begging you to run out and see it. It opens in tons more theaters this weekend. No more excuses, get out and buy a ticket.

Jesus Christ Superstar started out as a Broadway rock opera from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in the early 70s. It eventually became a movie in 1973 and is now a part of the pop culture lexicon. It’s based on the biblical accounts of Jesus’ last life, only done up with modern attitudes, modern slang, tons of irony, and of course modern rock music.

So I understand why they’d be pursuing Webb, he’s brilliant. What I don’t get is why he’d bother talking to them. What makes (500) Days so special, so wonderful, is how incredibly unique and individual it is. In fact our own Mack Rawden wrote an entire article drooling over the way it spits in the face of rom-com clichés. But there’s nothing original about making a Jesus Christ Superstar movie musical. It was already made into a movie in 1973. I’m sure he’d find a way to make it his own, but at the end of the day you’re still left mining someone else’s material, material that’s been done over and over before. Besides, the original, fresh take on this has already been done. It was called Hamlet 2 and it made me rock my sexy Jesus. I’d really hate for Webb to get caught up in this. Stay fresh, keep spitting on clichés Marc. The ever dwindling forces of originality need you.

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