There’s a seemingly endless parade of movies being turned into musicals; particularly Disney’s titles, which are, after all, usually well suited to the transition. Here, though comes word on two titanic brands considering a stage invasion: the Muppets and Jackie Chan.
Not together, of course (though wouldn’t you pay to see that stage show? We would!), but the plans are bubbling away on separate fronts.
Let’s start with Kermit and co who, since the Mouse House wholly owns them, may make the natural leap to the stage thanks to Disney Theatrical Productions. It’s early days for plans on that front, but according to Variety, DTP held a short presentation showcase featuring a few classic songs and the main Muppeteers fresh from working on The Muppets… Again!
Labelled a test of concept, the show at Disney’s New Amsterdam Theatre in New York included several sets and 85 characters, with busy theatre director Alex Timbers overseeing the production. Apparently he’d cooked up an idea for a Muppet musical while working with DTP boss Thomas Schumacher on Peter And The Starcatcher, which scored five Tony awards last year.
Before you digging down the back of the sofa for money so you can start saving for tickets and air fare to New York, no concrete plans are in place yet: it’s not easy to make the characters work on a stage show (although then again, Avenue Q), but the test show apparently went over well. So it could soon be time to light the lights…
As for Chan? He’s apparently got an idea to turn his memoir I Am Jackie Chan: My Life In Action into a stage show. A fan of musicals from a young age, it's one of the few mediums he hasn’t conquered in his adult life, despite training at the Peking Opera School and finding early success in music.
"We are looking for a director for the musical right now," he told reporters at a press conference today at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "It's all very exciting." The idea is to tell the story of his younger days via narration from the man himself and peeks into his time performing with children’s group Seven Little Fortunes. Still, though: if someone could come up with a song & dance routine based on Armour Of God or Project A, that would be a sight to see.
Chan also says he’s working on the follow-up to his 1998 book, tentatively titled I Am Still Jackie Chan. The man is still a legend.