Sometimes good musicals come from directors you might not expect. Brian De Palma made Phantom of the Paradise. Robert Altman made Popeye. And now Clint Eastwood brings us his adaptation of the Broadway hit Jersey Boys. So since anyone can make a musical, here are some directorial candidates who need to make one ASAP.
Even when holding back a little to fit a concept (yes, I’m talking about Death Proof), Tarantino always manages to bring some kind of must-see filmmaking bravado and originality to his work. Applying that to a musical would have to result in something unique and exciting. And probably bloody.
The detailed comic precision that goes into every Edgar Wright movie would play well in a musical setting. Shaun of the Dead‘s “Don’t Stop Me Now” sequence offers a brief look at what he can do with choreography, while Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is nearly a musical as is. Who knows what magic he could come up when focused on music completely?
Wes Anderson’s highly stylized dollhouse reality would fit well with the kind of heightened universe required for audiences to accept people suddenly breaking into song and dance. And obviously the soundtrack would be incredible, whether culled from old British Invasion hits or composed by Anderson regular Mark Mothersbaugh.
It’s tough to be a sad rich person, so sad that sometimes you just gotta break out in song. That’s where Sofia Coppola comes in. Through openly brazen opulence, slightly joyful melancholy and obviously incredible casting, Coppola would deliver the greatest sad rich person musical ever.
We don’t have enough tough-guy musicals. Let’s say Hollywood starts making them but wants to put its toe in the waters with a cheaper point-and-shoot guy who does good work without complaining too much. That guy pretty much has to be Renny Harlin. He gets the job done, whatever that job is, and even sometimes comes back with something incredible.
Now let’s say Renny Harlin really knocked it out of the park and Hollywood suddenly wants to make the biggest tough-guy musical ever. Obviously, Michael Bay is the number one name in this scenario. Just imagine Bay’s He-Men and Barbie Dolls singing and dancing against Magic Hour skies in a sea of orange and teal. It would be magnificent.
Though he comes pretty close with I Can Do Bad All by Myself, Tyler Perry has never made a full-blown musical. It’s a shame because he’s actually at his best when he lets narrative form match the affected soap opera emotions found in his scripts. Were he ever to finally cut loose and make a musical, chances are high that it would be his best film by a large margin.
Penny Marshal hasn’t made a movie since 2001’s Riding in Cars with Boys. That’s a long time. Nevertheless, Marshall in her heyday had a remarkable ability to make slightly girly films that dudes seemed to have no trouble enjoying. This means she could make a more or less traditional musical yet command a much bigger than normal audience demographic. Plus, we just want her out there directing again.
A Judd Apatow musical guarantees several things. One, it will be funny. Two, it will have a great cast. Three, it will be around three hours long. Plus, he’s worked with everyone from James Taylor to the RZA, so the actual music stands a great chance of being great as well.
How has this not happened yet? As someone who has tried – and succeeded at – so many styles and genres, it’s remarkable that Steven Spielberg has never made an all-out musical. He’s produced some, and the opening of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is pretty much a classic musical number, but we’ve never seen a true Spielberg song-and-dance film. You just know it would be worth checking out if he ever gets around to one.
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