Many famous films have been derived or adapted from Broadway and Off-Broadway stageplays, which tend to be overshadowed by the big-budget musicals that Broadway is mostly known for. Regardless, films such as FencesA24’s The Humans, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Streetcar Named Desire, and both the Netflix 2020 version and 1970 version of The Boys in the Band all were stageplays written and performed on the stage before their transfer to the silver screen.
With more provocative, creative, and someTony-winning plays being produced each season in the Big Apple, the chances for film adaptations and loosely-based movies are higher than ever.
The Inheritance Parts 1 and 2 by Matthew López won the 2021 Tony Award for Best Play. A queer adaption of the 1910 novel Howard’s End by EM Foster, The Inheritance follows gay men in the generation after the AIDS crisis and examines their experiences in love while simultaneously questioning what the current generations owe those who came before them. The show centers around Toby and Eric, a gay couple living in New York City who seem to be doing wonderful, until they meet an older man haunted by the past and a younger one intrigued by the future.
The Inheritance has a large ensemble of gay men who help to drive the story and offer insights as well, making the show so impactful. Though The Inheritance is divided into two parts and would be well over 4 hours long, a movie adaptation could still be a wonderful new medium this remarkable piece of literature could live in! Although, the stage might be the rightful place for this masterclass in playwriting.
Peter and the Starcatcher
This show focuses on a young Peter Pan on his journey from an orphanage to become the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. The play was written by Rick Elice and includes all the Neverland favorites, like pirates (led by the infamously hilarious Black Stache), mermaids, and tyrants in a delightfully campy way.
It’s fair to say that Peter and the Starcatcher is a true example of a flashy and theatrical comedy that fully reimagines a story everyone knows and loves. While there are many, many adaptions and retellings of the story of Peter Pan in the Television / Film / Theater industry, Peter and the Starcatcher is a wonderful choice for a refreshing take on the classic story.
Indecent is an intense play that recounts the true controversy of another play, God of Vengeancewhich was produced on Broadway in 1923. Written by Paula Vogelthe play was nominated for 3 Tony Awards and is acclaimed as immense and virtuous. Indecent follows the cast and crew of God of Vengeance as they attempt to develop the show and bring it to Broadway, only for the producer and cast to be arrested and charged with obscenity, in addition to claims they were libeling the Jewish faith.
Themes like love behind-the-scenes, corruption in the court trial, and even the Holocaust are explored in this ground-breaking show. While Indecent has been professionally recorded on stage, a true film adaptation of the play would be a remarkable addition to the play-to-screen catalog.
The Ferryman is a family drama written by Jez Butterworth about a Northern Irish family, one of them being a former Irish Republican Army activist, during The Troubles (also called the Northern Ireland Conflict between Irish Catholics, or Nationalists, and Irish Unionists.) As the family prepares for the annual harvest, they ‘ re interrupted by a visitor and the drama ensues.
The show won numerous Olivier and Tony Awards, including the 2019 Tony Award for Best Play. Irish cinema rarely makes a global impact and having the robust following of a successful stageplay be a basis for a film that tells an intense Irish family story could be a wonderful drama film that would touch millions.
Chicken and Biscuits
Chicken and Biscuits is a laugh-out-loud comedy by Douglas Lyons that follows a Black family as they celebrate the life of the family patriarch. As the family reunites for his funeral, rival sisters Baneatta and Beverly bicker over the ceremony, Baneatta’s youngest son brings home his very white and very Jewish boyfriend, Baneatta’s daughter with a troubled past keeps cool, and Beverly’s daughter can seem to stay out. of everyone’s business (and also remind them she’s a Soundcloud rapper).
When a family secret comes to light, this absolutely hilarious show dishes out jokes and lots of love. The show had a very limited run due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now having regional productions across the country. However, Chicken and Biscuits could easily be adapted into a drop-dead funny comedy movie, and maybe sometime soon!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is one of Broadway’s highest-grossing plays. Following Harry and Ginny’s son, Albus, the show tackles his journey at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as he tries to live up to his father’s expectations — and subsequently, everyone else’s expectations of the son of the legendary Boy Who Lived.
He meets Scorpius, the son of Draco Malfoy, and the pair become best friends. Albus and Scorpius get into a bit of trouble as they use a time-turner to prevent the death of Cedric Diggory and ultimately find themselves fighting against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. If the film franchise is looking for another story to flesh out the Potterverse, this is the obvious choice.
NEXT: 7 Book-to-Film Adaptations Coming in 2022