With “La La Land” and “Beauty & The Beast” kicking ass at the box office — the former is closing on $500 million worldwide, a huge victory for a film that cost a tenth of that, the latter has crossed the billion-dollar mark and is among the top 10 domestic movies of all time — the movie musical is back in a big way. There are films down the line that hope to take advantage of the revival, including Hugh Jackman’s “The Greatest Showman On Earth,” various Disney movies including a new “Little Mermaid” take from Lin-Manuel Miranda, new versions of “Oliver!” and “Guys And Dolls” and more
And joining that list is an adaptation of a newer stage hit that takes a look at the life and history of a band beloved by directors including Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson: The Kinks. The British invasion favorites are one of the most seminal bands of the 1960s, with hits including “You Really Got Me,” “Lola” and “Waterloo Sunset” and had a dramatist’s dream in the tumultuous relationship between the two brothers at the band’s center, Ray and Dave Davies, so it’s no surprise that the band recently became the subject of a hit West End musical, “Sunny Afternoon,” which ran from 2014 to 2016.
And now, according to the well-connected Baz Bamigboye, a movie version is in the works. Joe Penhall, taking quite a left turn from his work on “The Road” and David Fincher’s upcoming “Mindhunter,” will write the screenplay (as he did the book for the musical), and Dexter Fletcher, best known for last year’s Hugh Jackman/Taron Egerton crowdpleaser “Eddie The Eagle,” will helm. Fletcher has musical form, previously being behind the Proclaimers film musical “Sunshine On Leith,” a slightly rough-edged but enjoyable take on the music of the band.
It’s all a long way off, and even if it does get made, it’s a rocky road to make this sort of thing work, as Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys” proved. But the source material is strong, and given the heat on the genre at the moment, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this happen eventually.