Over the last few years, musicals have been making a comeback. Between Disney reimagining their beloved animated features into live-action extravaganzas like the upcoming The Little Mermaid and this year’s slate of song-and-dance movies including In The Heights, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Dear Evan Hansen and Tick, Tick… Boom!, there’s a lot for theatre fans to get excited for. And on top of that, a director has just been chosen for the developing remake of Guys and Dolls.
Guys and Dolls is a classic Broadway musical set in New York City during the Depression and centers on a pair of gamblers and the women who love them, and Sony nabbed the big screen rights two years ago. Now a production is finally moving forward with Bill Condon signing on as director. Condon is an experienced filmmaker of popular musicals, previously adapting Dreamgirls to the screen in 2006 along with helming the live-action Beauty and the Beast in 2017.
News of Guys and Dolls hiring its talented director comes via The Hollywood Reporter. The movie will follow a previous adaptation of the Broadway hit from 1955 starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine. The original stage production began in 1950, winning five Tonys including Best Musical. Back in 1992, it was revived in a version of Guys and Dolls starring Nathan Lane and Faith Prince, winning three additional Tonys.
The musical is a favorite among Broadway fans, especially the song “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat.” Bill Condon has proved to be a great contributor to the world of modern Hollywood musicals, also serving as a writer on 2002’s Chicago and 2017 original movie musical The Greatest Showman. He also helmed the last two Twilight movies Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Breaking Dawn Part 2.
While it’s unclear what the vision will be for Bill Condon’s Guys and Dolls, the filmmaker has a number of blockbusters under his belt. His most popular would certainly be 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, which made Disney over $1.2 billion worldwide back in 2017. In 2013, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to the musical, attempting to develop a version starring Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but in 2019 TriStar Pictures (a Sony subsidiary) picked them up, and is now making greater strides with the property than the previous company.
It’s exciting to see more studios embrace big-screen musicals. Other Broadway musicals that are expected to be adapted into movies are Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, with Tom Hanks attached; The Color Purple, reportedly coming in 2023; and Little Shop of Horrors starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton.
Bill Condon’s latest film was 2019’s The Good Liar starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. Adding to his musical credentials, he’s also attached to a Christmas Carol spinoff titled Marley. While we wait for more details on Guys and Dolls, you can check out CinemaBlend’s interview with Bill Condon on the ReelBlend podcast.