Sorry guys, I’m still picking my jaw up off the floor.
Universal Theatrical Group has partnered with Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, Glee) to develop a Broadway musical based on Death Becomes Her, the 1992 Robert Zemeckis film black comedy that starred Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. Chenoweth will portray Streep’s role as Madeline, a stage actress whose craving for eternal youth goes morbidly awry.
As reported earlier this afternoon by Deadline, the announcement comes from Jimmy Horowitz, President of Universal Pictures and Chris Herzberger, Vice President at UTG. No other information is on offer and a spokesman for the project says it’s in its initial stages, with creative team and other particulars to follow.
UTG has had a global hit with Wicked, in which Chenoweth co-starred with Idina Menzel in the Wizard of Oz prequel. It’s also developed stage productions of Billy Elliot, Bring It On: The Musical and Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn. UTG most recently acquired rights to develop a stage musical based on the life story and music of the Bee Gees.
Death Becomes Her, the film, was scripted by Martin Donovan & David Koepp.
When a novelist loses her man to a movie star and former friend, she winds up in a psychiatric hospital. Years later, she returns home to confront the now-married couple, looking radiant. Her ex-husband’s new wife wants to know her secret, and discovers that she has been taking a mysterious drug which grants eternal life to the person who drinks it. The actress follows suit, but discovers that immortality has a price.
It comes as no surprise to Nightmare on Film Street the film will see an adaptation for the stage (though long overdue. imo. I’m still waiting on my deleted scene loaded, special edition Blu-Ray) The opening scene of the film shows our lead Madeline, an aging (and thus declining) actress struggling to hold her audience’s attention on broadway as the lead in fictionalized musical, SongBird. Watch a clip, below!