Top 10 Movie Musicals We Wish They'd Make With the Original Cast
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Top 10 Movie Musicals We Wish They'd Make With the Original Cast

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Olivia Olphin
We wish these movie musicals had the original cast. Our countdown includes "Rock of Ages," "Nine," "Chicago," and more!

Top 10 Movie Musicals We Wish They'd Make With the Original Cast

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Musicals We Wish They’d Make with the Original Cast.

For this list, we’ll be looking at movie musicals that have been released, or are currently in production, that we’d love to see remade with the original Broadway or West End cast - we’re even considering revivals! We’ll be discussing the performers as if they had the ability to time travel and film these movies now, but at the ages they were when they were in their respective productions. We’re excluding musicals like Into the Woods or Sweeney Todd since they already have full-filmed versions of the original cast, and are limiting our choices to musicals with existing film adaptations - as much as we want to see a Hadestown movie.

Tell us your favourite movie musical adaptations in the comments below!

#10: “The Prom” (2020)

This sweet high-school musical follows several aging Broadway actors who go to Indiana after hearing about a lesbian student whose school forbids her from taking her girlfriend to the prom. The movie’s star-studded cast includes screen legend Meryl Streep, James Corden and Nicole Kidman. While this film adaptation has racked up two Golden Globe nominations, many fans feel that it lost the charm and vivacity of the original production - and that the parts could have been played by the original cast as the musical only debuted on Broadway in 2018. We’d love to see the first cast reunited to show us those incredible dance sequences and bring that Broadway energy to the big screen.

#9: “A Little Night Music” (1977)

Stephen Sondheim is regarded as one of the greatest composers of American musical theatre, and his work on “A Little Night Music” more than illustrates why. This musical explores actress Desirée Armfeldt’s life, her affairs, and the men who love her. Although the film chose class acting talent such as Elizabeth Taylor and Diana Rigg, critical reaction to it was negative, and the movie fell flat. We wish we could see the film with the original cast, specifically Glynis Johns who first portrayed Desirée, and who famously played Winifred Banks in “Mary Poppins.” The hit song ‘Send In the Clowns’ was written especially for her, and would’ve undoubtedly mesmerized if it was ever immortalised on screen.

#8: “Once on This Island” (TBD)

In July 2020, shortly after the massive success of the release of “Hamilton” on Disney+, it was announced that “Once on This Island” would be adapted for the platform. Now, the original 1990 Broadway production had the legendary LaChanze leading as Ti Moune, and 8 Tony nominations. However, we think it’s entirely possible to cast the 2017 revival company to bring “Once on This Island” to life once more. It’s exciting enough that a story about a noble quest, powerful gods, and an island love story is being adapted, but add to that the possibility of Lea Salonga being in a Disney musical again - well, we won’t accept anything else. And honestly, we just want more Alex Newell on our screens.

#7: “Rock of Ages” (2012)

This film certainly hit us with its best shot, but unfortunately it did not take us to Paradise City. The jukebox rock musical follows aspiring singer Sherrie hoping to make it in Hollywood. In some of the boldest casting in film history, Tom Cruise was chosen to play hot-rocker Stacee Jaxx. AlCruise was criticised for his vocal performance not sounding enough like an unpolished, edgy rockstar. This isn’t too surprising as this was the first time the Mission Impossible star had ever really sung in a musical though.though completely transforming for the role, and having a lot of sex-appeal and swagger, To really do these classic ‘80s rock songs justice, we can’t help but wish that we’ll one day see the headbanging original cast belt out Journey, Poison or Bon Jovi in everyone’s favourite glam rock fantasy.

#6: “Evita” (1996)

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita” follows Eva Peron as she rises out of poverty and becomes one of the most influential women in the country, marrying soon-to-be President Juan Peron. The film starred Madonna and Antonio Banderas and was mostly a critical success, even winning an Oscar for Best Original Song. Although Madonna was an unexpectedly brilliant choice for Eva Peron, we can’t help but dream about seeing Elaine Paige from the original West End cast, or Patti LuPone from the Broadway production, star in a film adaptation. ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ is one of the most well-known and well-loved musical theatre songs of all time and it shows off the powerhouse vocals of these exceptional leading ladies.

#5: “Nine” (2009)

The musical sees film director Guido Contini involved in multiple romances during a mid-life crisis that was sparked by turning 40. The film adaptation had an all-star cast including Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard. However, it was Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie who stole the show with her powerful version of “Be Italian.” It is unfortunate that the film did not reach the dizzy heights of the original production, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1982. As such, we think the original cast would be perfect to show the public exactly what triple-threat Broadway talent can do with this striking ensemble piece.

#4: “Chicago” (2002)

“Chicago” follows a group of sexy, criminal women protesting their innocence while seeking fame and fortune. The two protagonists Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart have intoxicated Broadway audiences since 1975. “Cell Block Tango” has become synonymous with the dark wit and unique Fosse-style choreography of the show. While we adore the movie, and the performances of Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, we’d be delighted to watch a version with original leading ladies, Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera. Verdon won 4 Tony Awards and was a regular collaborator with her husband Bob Fosse, while Rivera originated the role of Anita in “West Side Story.” We can tell that these two women on-screen together like this would’ve been a wonder to behold.

#3: “Wicked” (2003)

Although the Wicked film has been in pre-production since 2004, this doesn’t stop us from dreaming about seeing the original Glinda and Elphaba return to Oz and ‘Defy Gravity’ one more time. Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth’s magical chemistry won the show several Tonys in 2004 and a Grammy Award in 2005. These days, Menzel is still at the top of her game, having wowed audiences for a second time as Elsa in “Frozen 2.” We honestly couldn’t see anyone else playing the wicked witch of the west, or the good witch Glinda. Let’s hope director John M. Chu - who was confirmed in 2021 - also realises the power of this original duo.

#2: “Les Misérables” (2012)

Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of “Les Misérables” was a sweeping triumph of spectacle and emotion set in revolutionary France in the early 1800s. Anne Hathaway was brilliantly heart-breaking as Fantine and truly deserved her Oscar win. However, the decision to have the cast sing live while filming polarised the audience. Some fans felt that it highlighted the emotional weight of the musical, while others missed the polished singing of a professional cast. Although we adored the film, we’d love to see original stars Patti LuPone, Colm Wilkinson and Roger Allam back together again to storm the barricades for just ‘One Day More’.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“A Chorus Line” (1985)
This Box Office Flop Was Not ‘One Singular Sensation’

“The Last Five Years” (2014)
A Heartwrenching Relationship Breakdown Without the Charm of the Stage Show

“Mame” (1974)
An Old School Classic Missing Angela Lansbury’s Magnetic Presence

#1: “The Phantom of the Opera” (2004)

This 1986 musical is officially the longest running show on Broadway. It follows young opera singer Christine Daaé as she is drawn into the mysterious obsessive world of the Phantom, who haunts the opera house. The film adaptation starring Gerard Butler received mixed reviews. Many fans felt that it glamorised the original musical and that the vocals of the lead actors didn’t hit the mark. We would love to see musical theatre legends Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford reprise their roles for a film. The pair had a sensuous and dynamic chemistry that leapt off the stage, and set the foundations for one of the most loved musicals of all time.