With the recent success of musicals such as The Greatest Showman and Mary Poppins Returns… oops, let’s do it again! Sony Pictures is getting on the movie musical bandwagon with a fairytale set to the tune of Britney Spears’ biggest hits called Once Upon A One More Time, which will soon debut on a Chicago stage this fall before making its way to Broadway in 2020.
Sony has won an auction for the rights to adapt the musical for the big screen, and according to Deadline, it will be produced by Britney Spears, her manager Larry Rudolph and John Davis, who has done projects including The Predator and the upcoming Jungle Cruise. The musical follows iconic princesses such as Cinderella and Snow White, who often gather for their book club to read Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Then, a rogue fairy godmother introduces them to The Feminine Mystique and break out into Britney songs such as “Toxic” and “Circus” amidst their introduction to second-wave feminism.
Once Upon A One More Time is based on a book by Jon Hartmere, it will be directed by Kristen Hanggi, who is best known for developing and directing the musical Rock of Ages, and choreography is being handled by Keone and Mari Madrid, leads of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” music video. Britney Spears recently celebrated 20 years since her debut album, ...Baby One More Time, which is still her highest-selling album to date.
The pop star is famous for her early ‘00s music videos complete with iconic dances and costumes from Britney Spears. The princess of pop has created radio hit after radio hit and has a huge fan base, so Once Upon A One More Time is sure to peak the interest of them everywhere. It also seems to be trend for musicals including famous singers to be getting big screen debuts recently.
Bohemian Rhapsody recently not only rocked the box office with over $900 million in earnings worldwide, it also won some Oscars as well. The upcoming Rocketman will reenact and take some creative liberties with Elton John’s life and legacy.
The highly-successful Mamma Mia movies seem to be the closest to Once Upon A One More Time, as they both explore the libraries of one famous artist to tell a completely different story in a musical. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was quietly successful last summer with $394 million in worldwide earnings. Princesses are also quite popular, especially for Disney – audiences will either be excited to see them spoofed through Britney’s music or scoff at yet another recycled use of their well-known stories.
Once Upon A One More Time is an exciting, new kind of musical that looks to celebrate Britney Spears’ music in a unique and fun way, along with having an empowering message about The Feminine Mystique and retelling the classic stories of princesses from what we are used to seeing from them. Sign me up for Snow White belting out “Toxic” - that’ll be worth the price of admission on its own!
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.