The Hollywood mogul made the announcement at a charity performance of the LGBTQ-themed musical he hosted for the benefit of “causes close to his heart”—the Hetrick-Martin Institute, GLAAD, and the Trevor Project—according to the Hollywood Reporter. He later took to Instagram with the news.
“The Prom is one of the most uplifting, heartfelt, and special musicals I have ever seen on Broadway. It’s truly an original that celebrates the underdog and says in a loving spectacular way that LGBTQ rights are human rights. I feel a special connection to it because it’s set in Indiana, and that’s where I grew up, too. I’m thrilled to announce I’m turning it into a movie event for Netflix,” he captioned the post.
The Prom on Netflix: What we know
Murphy said he’s bringing in the show’s producers Bill Damaschke and Dori Berinstein, as well as the show’s creative team that includes Tony Award-winning director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw, Tony Award winner Bob Martin (book), Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (book and lyrics), and Tony Award nominee Matthew Sklar (music) to the feature adaptation.
The Prom is Murphy’s first known film project under the huge $300-million five-year deal with Netflix that he signed last year. So far, his lineup for the streaming giant is made up of series: teen comedy The Politician starring Ben Platt and Gwyneth Paltrow (slated for a Sept. 27 premiere); drama Ratched, the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel starring Sarah Paulson as the titular nurse; and “love letter to the Golden Age of Tinseltown,” Hollywood. The Prom might also just become the first Netflix Original movie musical.
It’s set to premiere in 2020. “That date, which falls right before the next presidential election, is no coincidence,” THR reports, adding that Murphy closed his Tuesday night announcement by saying, “We want to change hearts, minds, and votes.”
It’s unclear whether Murphy will direct or produce the musical film project. However, it’s worth noting that he is known for creating and directing the Emmy-winning Fox high school musical series Glee and other inclusive projects, like the Emmy-winning HBO movie The Normal Heart about the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City and FX’s dance drama series, Pose, about ballroom culture that stars transgender actors. He also has experience producing a Broadway show, the revival of Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band. Murphy’s credentials make him an expert on helming productions that are similar to The Prom.
The Prom plot and Broadway cast
The Prom is from the original concept of Jack Viertel and is reportedly loosely based on a real-life incident. The story tells of an Indiana high school girl who was barred from bringing her girlfriend to the prom and four Broadway actors who come to the small town to help her fight the injustice.
The musical just opened in November at New York’s Longacre Theatre, although it made its world premiere at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in 2016.
Also in his Instagram post, Murphy encouraged viewers to “see it first at the Longacre Theatre. It has a musical score that will leave you singing for days, a hilarious and moving book, and some of the most showstopping direction, choreography, and performances I’ve ever seen on Broadway.”
The Broadway cast is led by Tony winner Beth Leavel, Tony nominees Christopher Sieber and Brooks Ashmanskas, Caitlin Kinnunen, Isabelle McCalla, Michael Potts, Angie Schworer, Josh Lamon, and Courtenay Collins. There’s no word yet whether any of the original cast members will be included in the Netflix adaptation or if Murphy’s staple stars like Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, and Evan Peters will be part of it.
One of the things that makes this particular production special is how usually, old movies and books are adapted into musicals, not the other way around. THR‘s chief theater critic David Rooney pointed out in his review of the show back in November that “Any musical that makes it to Broadway these days without a familiar movie source or a popular jukebox score is an achievement,” he wrote.
Fans react to The Prom on Netflix
Fans of The Prom and Broadway and musicals, in general, are delighted with the news, as expected. Murphy’s Instagram post was flooded with celebratory comments.
Twitter user @RobbyLerman said, “This is so wonderful!! Regardless if it’s a professionally filmed version of the show or a full-fledged motion picture, it’s fantastic that everyone will get to see @ThePromMusical.”
This is so wonderful!! Regardless if it’s a professionally filmed version of the show or a full-fledged motion picture, it’s fantastic that everyone will get to see @ThePromMusical ❤️https://t.co/giJ67MemSt— Robby Lerman (@RobbyLerman) April 10, 2019
HOLY SHI— IT WAS SO PERFECT. Ryan will do it perfectly.— Alexandria Taylor (@intowildplaces) April 10, 2019
So excited!!! We saw it the night of its first Broadway preview. Knew nothing about it beforehand. Realized by intermission we were witnessing something TRULY SPECIAL! I love this show!— Rebecca Thomas (@choryella) April 10, 2019
This is the best news I've heard so far this year!— Durell Griffin (@durell_griffin) April 10, 2019
Some hope Murphy and Netflix will hire LGBTQ stars and creatives to work on the adaptation.
LET QUEER/GAY WOMEN WORK ON THE PROM FOR THE MOVIE ADAPTION. https://t.co/e7CTrqnWhN— Liv (@jaggedbway) April 10, 2019
What’s a great announcement without meme and GIF reactions on Twitter?
Will this set a precedent for more Broadway musicals to be adapted into Netflix films? Some fans sure hope so.
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H/T the Hollywood Reporter