Sleepless In Seattle is becoming the latest in an increasingly long line of movies being turned into stage musicals.
Recently, the likes of Shrek, Legally Blonde, High Fidelity - no, really - and Billy Elliot have all hit the boards. Some, like Hairspray, have even gone so far that they’ve come back around the other way.
And with Spider-Man on the way, it would appear that no film is safe from the lure of theatre’s money-thrusting tourist thrall.
But there are some films that probably still shouldn’t get stripped down and stuffed with production numbers.
Fling open the curtains! Light the lights! Wait for the howls of horror or the hoots of derision to begin…
Larry Clark’s unflinching, cast-with-newcomers/unknowns portrait of life on the poverty-stricken streets of New York.
Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) is a teen on a mission: deflower as many virgins as he can, HIV crisis be damned.
Kids! The Musical is basically Rent, but without the uplifting spirit that Jonathan Larson’s rocky update of La Boehme possesses.
And more AIDS references. If that’s possible.
“He’s the virgin… Surgeon! The virgin… Surgeon! He’ll sleep with any girly, he’ll leave the bedroom early, he’ll gift them with the threat of death, the virus-laden burden…”[page-break]
2. The Passion Of The Christ
Mel Gibson’s blood-splattered stare at the end of Jesus’ life offers a portrait of suffering, sacrifice and death.
Captured by the Romans, he’s led through the streets, whipped, beaten and ultimately crucified.
Thanks to a terrifyingly realistic recreation, the first three rows are issued with plastic macs and the warning You Will Get Red On You.
Plus they’re shut down after three shows when Andrew Lloyd Webber sues for the show being too much like Jesus Christ Superstar.
Likely Lyric: “
They say you’re the miracle worker, but they’ve all deserted you. Saviour, saviour… Save yourself!”[page-break]
3. Starship Troopers
Paul Verhoeven brings subtle satire to the story of young men and women giving their lives to battle giant bugs.
It’s ultra-violent and crammed full with the Dutch director’s Hollywood period trademarks – boobs, bonking and body parts.
Technical issues result in serious crush injuries the first night when the massive remote control puppets used to bring the bugs to life go haywire thanks to some idiot’s mobile.
The show is quickly cancelled and the producers flee the country after a massive insurance case is filed.
“Fight the war! We all go full bore! Ignore the gore! Ignore the gore! Do you want to know more?”[page-break]
4. The Abys
Jim Cameron’s undersea epic sees rough-and-tumble civilian diving team tasked with locating a downed nuclear submarine.
Turns out the chasm they’re exploring is also home to a powerful alien aquatic species none too happy with the way mankind has been screwing with the world.
Cameron insists on being involved at every level, building entirely new technology that will allow the entire auditorium to flood at a moment’s notice.
Sadly, his technical perfection means that the first night ends somewhat soggily when the place fills up within seconds resulting the loss of the entire audience.
“We have stood along the sidelines, we have watched you foul this world. But now we cannot stand it, cannot wait one minute more, we’ll sink your little cities from our comfy ocean floor.”[page-break]
Gus Van Sant gets experimental with Casey Affleck and Matt Damon wandering around in the desert.
With minimal dialogue, the friendship is tested to its limits when the pair forget to bring water with them.
While it’s cheap as chips to produce, the show does not exactly go over well with crowds used to the stunning spectacle of The Lion King and Wicked.
Word of mouth gets out that it’s two people walking in a circle on some sand for seventeen hours and the attendance figures for the second night include one masochist and the theatre’s caretaker.
There are no lyrics. [page-break]
Liam Neeson is a worrywart dad whose teenage daughter jaunts off to Paris and quickly kidnapped by nasty sex slave traders.
Fortunately for her, he’s a former CIA agent who specialises in tracking people down, dispensing rough justice and being chronically unable to hide his accent.
Neeson agrees to a short run on stage while he waits for Steven Spielberg to finally get his Lincoln biopic up and running.
The audience participation portion of the evening does not go well when Neeson refuses to pull his punches during a “you can be in the final fight scene” incident.
“I have a very particular set of skills, you wouldn’t want to make me angryyyy. If you hurt my girl, I’ll see you killed, just you wait and seeee.”[page-break]
7. The Evil Dead
Sam Raimi’s classic early horror finds Ash (Bruce Campbell) dealing with demons and danger in the woods
Marked by a frenetic shooting style and clever use of low-budget filming methods, it’s campy, cult and sheer genius.
It could never work on stage. Don’t be ridiculous. It’s… Sorry, what? Oh. Oh, right.
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