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Adapting a book into a movie is one of the most daunting tasks a writer can undertake. Even more intimidating though, is taking that material and turning it into a Broadway musical. Frankly, if you asked a writer to choose one over the other, they'd probably take the movie hands down. Still, there are folks that are brave enough to try and make their way to that most famous piece of New York real estate, with songs in their hands and stars in their eyes. And Elton John is going to be helping the latest lucky writer to embark on this journey, as he'll be writing the music to a stage adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada.
The Wrap broke the news that Laura Weisberger's novel, which later became a David Frankel directed film, is currently being adapted for the stage by writer Paul Rudnick. His is a name you might recognize as he's been a screenwriter/uncredited script doctor on several 90's classics such as Sister Act and The Addams Family. For those who don't remember the film or never read the book, The Devil Wears Prada follows the story of budding writer Andy Sachs and her time in hell serving the whims of fashion editor Miranda Priestley... which does sound like it's the perfect type of story to transfer to the musical stage. Though we would be remiss if we weren't addressing the inherent worries of you musical theater fans out there.
In particular, those worries should include both Elton John's previous attempt at bringing a literary/cinematic character to the stage, as well as the fact that musical adaptations of such projects don't always last. Starting with the former concern, John previously worked on one of the most infamous musicals Broadway has ever seen: Lestat. Based off of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, the show only ran for 39 previews and 33 regular performances before closing a little over a month after its preview opening. Whether that was due to Elton John's music or Alice In Wonderland scribe Linda Woolverton's book is up to you at home. But to aide your decision process, you can use the sample musical cue we've included below.
Of course, even if a musical is good and receives rave reviews from critic and audience alike, there's a chance it won't make enough money to keep itself open. After all, stage musicals aren't like blockbuster films, where they spend money to capture it on film and send it to theaters with low enough ticket prices and several showings a day to recoup. With a musical, you need to make it big and make it fast. Just ask Duncan Sheik and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the collaborators behind last year's American Psycho: The Musical. That show has plenty of loyal fans, and some stellar press write ups, but in the end the show couldn't make enough money from its steady ticket sales to keep itself afloat.
Ultimately, Broadway is tougher than Hollywood, as the investment tends to be much less certain, and the windfall even less so. Still, The Devil Wears Prada could be a Tony nominated sensation, that is if it gets off the ground. As of now, there's no timeline for the show's development, so we're not sure when to expect things to get rolling. Not to mention, it's much harder to get a stage show off the ground, as theater space, investors and talent are all more difficult to secure in the theater world. So don't keep your hopes up, and if you're one of the folks involved with the possible transfer of La La Land, take note! You may have some competition headed your way.