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Broadway turns to Hollywood for inspiration

hollywood Updated: Dec 28, 2011 18:46 IST

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As Broadway theater experiences unprecedented success with its highest-grossing year of $1.1 billion in ticket sales and the US film box office dips by up to 5%, according to The Wrap, it is no wonder that Hollywood is turning its films into musicals.

Stage-to-screen productions have been common for decades as a way to reach a broader audience. In 2011, Tony winners God of Carnage and War Horse as well as Farragut North (known as Ides of March on film) became films.

Now the big screen is heading to the small stage. The trend for screen-to-stage productions is growing in popularity, with theatrical runs lasting years, not weeks.

The Lion King moved to Broadway in 1997 and the musical is still strong. Elton John, who created the music, also brought the indie dance film Billy Elliot to the live stage.

This phenomenon also happens with British films and London's West End. Ghost the Musical, based on the 1990 film with Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, played the Piccadilly Theatre and will open at the Lunt-Fontaine on April 23 in New York City.

Other films that are currently on the Broadway stage include Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Sister Act and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which despite difficulties getting off the ground is close to reaching its massive budget of $75 million.

Broadway's upcoming winter season will premiere Once, based on the 2006 film about a busker starring The Frames' Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who won the Oscar for Best Song for Falling Slowly.

Tom Stoppard is reportedly in talks to write a stage adaptation of his Oscar-winning 1998 screenplay for Shakespeare in Love.

Mike Myers is working on an Austin Powers musical, an origin story and prequel to the films with the songs of Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Sylvester Stallone's famed boxing film franchise will debut as Rocky: The Musical on the stage in Hamburg, Germany, in November 2012.

Other films rumored to be converted to the stage include Cinema Paradiso, Chocolat, Finding Neverland, The Notebook, and Tim Burton's Big Fish.

Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film A Clockwork Orange will hit the boards next year at England's Royal Northern College of Music to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Anthony Burgess's novel.