24 Movies That Unexpectedly Became Musicals

As Mrs. Doutbfire heads to Broadway, we looked at other films we never thought would make it to the stage

01 of 24

Mrs. Doubtfire

20th Century Fox/Blue Wolf/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

A musical adaptation of the 1993 film is saying "HELLO!" to the Great White Way in March 2020!

It's scheduled to officially open on April 5, 2020, and will star Tony nominee Rob McClure as Daniel Hillard/Euphegenia Doubtfire, the character made famous by Robin Williams.

02 of 24

The Devil Wears Prada

Barry Wetcher/20th Century Fox/Rex

Elton John is slated to score an upcoming Broadway production of The Devil Wears Prada, based on both the 2003 Lauren Weisberger novel and the hit 2006 film, with lyricist and writer Paul Rudnick. The musical will premiere in Chicago next year.

While casting options have not been announced, both of the film's stars (Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep) have had extensive stage experience in the past - fingers crossed they get cast.

03 of 24

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride - 1987
The Princess Bride. 20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

You asked for a Princess Bride musical and producers said "As you wish!"

The classic story of Westley and Buttercup is being adapted for the stage with composer and lyricist David Yazbek (The Band's Visit) and book writers Bob Martin (The Prom) and Rick Elice (The Cher Show) at the helm.

The musical has been a long time coming - the film was once very close to being adapted into a musical, but negotiations fell through in 2007.

04 of 24



Say his name three times, we dare you! The musical, which premiered on Broadway in April 2019, is based on the 1988 movie of the same name, which starred Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara.

05 of 24

Mean Girls

The cast of Mean Girls. Joan Marcus

You can sit with us! Tina Fey, who wrote the original 2004 film, wrote the book for the Broadway show while her husband, Jeff Richmond, wrote the music. The musical premiered on Broadway in April 2018. Like, so fetch!

06 of 24

King Kong

Matthew Murphy

There's nothing quite like a gigantic puppet of King Kong to really show off some theater magic. The original version of the musical, which was based off of the 1933 film, premiered in Australia in 2013. Five years later, it premiered on Broadway in October 2018.

07 of 24


Josh Lehrer

Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles is behind the music and lyrics of Waitress, a musical based on the 2007 film of the same name (that starred Keri Russell).

The show was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, in 2016, and is still going strong on Broadway, now with American Idol's Jordin Sparks in the lead role.

08 of 24

Groundhog Day

Groundhog DayAugust Wilson Theatre
Joan Marcus

Groundhog Day premiered in London on the West End in 2016 and made its way to Broadway in April 2017. It's based on the 1993 movie that starred Bill Murray.

09 of 24


Amelie, Audtrey Tautou, Notre Dame
Ugc/Studio Canal+/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Hamilton's Phillipa Soo starred in the adaptation of the romantic comedy, which ran from March to May 2017.

10 of 24

Pretty Woman


Look out, Fantine: You've got some competition for Broadway's most talked-about prostitute. Julia Roberts's iconic rom-com got its own musical adaptation, with music from Bryan Adams, but it closed in 2019 after exactly one year on the Great White Way.

11 of 24

Catch Me If You Can


Unfortunately, for all of us, it wasn't Leonardo DiCaprio who reprised his 2002 role of the world-famous impostor (we woulda loved to hear him sing). But the man who did play the character on stage, Norbert Leo Butz, was so good that he picked up a leading actor in a musical Tony Award.

12 of 24

Legally Blonde

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The musical adaptation was true to the story (it opened with a song called, "Oh My God You Guys" so what else do you really need to know?). And somehow it seems very appropriate that after the star stepped down, Reese Witherspoon's next successor was cast via an MTV reality show.

13 of 24

Silence of the Lambs

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A film about cannibalism and murder may seem like the least likely candidate for theatrical success. But that didn't stop composer duo Jon and Al Kaplan from debuting Silence! The Musical, a parody of the movie.

14 of 24

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Janette Pellegrini/WireImage

Apparently, there's more overlap than we thought among slapstick-comedy-loving people and theater-going people. Spamalot (as the theatrical adaptation was called) had a successful four-year run in the U.S.

15 of 24

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

The Steve Martin and Michael Caine movie, in which the two played con men trying to swindle an heiress out of $50,000, is lauded as one of the funniest in history. The musical, however, was met with lukewarm reviews, but managed to run for over a year on Broadway and make its way to London's West End.

16 of 24

Sunset Boulevard

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If Les Misérables has taught us anything, it's that a musical doesn't need to be happy to be a hit. Same with Andrew Lloyd Webber's play, which had a nearly four-year run in London, though never premiered on Broadway.

17 of 24

8 1/2

8 1/2
Bruce Glikas/Getty

The critically acclaimed film from Federico Fellini is artsy and dark. Meanwhile, the on-stage version, called Nine (which might sound familiar because that became a movie in 2009), had vaguely similar characters, but unsurprisingly, a totally different vibe.

18 of 24

Billy Elliot

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While dance is an integral part of the movie, Billy Elliot wasn't exactly West Side Story. That said, the Broadway version was a smash hit and it ran for more than a decade on London's West End.

19 of 24

School of Rock


Andrew Lloyd Webber, the master of the "rock opera," composed the score of this kid classic. The show ran for three years, closing in early 2019, and was nominated for four Tony Awards.

20 of 24


Jim Spellman/WireImage

He may be a green ogre and, well, a cartoon, but that didn't stop him from making his way to the Great White Way. Shrek the Musical hit N.Y.C. in 2008 and lasted for a year - and as you might expect, for the main character, much of that year was spent in makeup.

21 of 24


Walter McBride/Getty

The movie produced one of the most memorable film scores ever and some might argue that Mr. Balboa's climb up those steps in Philly was well choreographed. So, are you really that surprised that a film about a brute boxer made it to the stage? (Okay, fine, so were we.)

22 of 24

The Wedding Singer

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Music may be an integral part of the flick (after all, the word singer is in the title), but perhaps the film was best left as a rom-com: The musical adaptation closed after five months on Broadway.

23 of 24


Joan Marcus/Getty

While there were two years of consecutive performances, due to the Christmas-centric plot, the show took a hiatus during the holiday off-season. Because, as we all know, the best way to spread Christmas cheer may be to sing it loud for all to hear … but perhaps not year-round.

24 of 24


Jim Spellman/WireImage

Stunts and special effects are one thing when they're in a movie; they are an entirely different beast when you're dealing with a live performance. But still, the creators behind Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark remained undaunted, even when faced with a seemingly endless stream of pre-opening night flubs. However, the stunts ended up being their downfall: One of the main reasons for the musical's closure was the loss of injury insurance for cast members.

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