Upcoming Musical Film Adaptations to Look Out For!

There are some exciting live-action musical film adaptations in the making, and we’re giving you all the details on what to expect!

The Little Mermaid

The anticipation for Walt Disney Pictures live action version of The Little Mermaid has exponentially grown since the release of the official teaser trailer in early September of 2022. The film starring the ethereal singer and actress Halle Bailey as Ariel is set to release on May 26, 2023. Director Rob Marshall and producer Marc Platt have created a stacked cast with big names like Tony winning actor Daveed Diggs voicing Sebastian, two-time Academy Award nominee Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, and Oscar winner Javier Bardem as King Triton.

Many Disney animated musicals have made their way to the Broadway stage, just like The Little Mermaid, which ran on Broadway from 2008-2012; now, the story is being reinvented once again as the trend for live-action versions heightens. Get excited to hear your favorite songs from the original animated movie and some new surprises because we’re only months away from seeing The Little Mermaid on the big screen!


The screen adaptation of this popular long-running Broadway musical will make its debut in theaters on November 27, 2024. The perfect set of powerhouse singers and actresses have been selected to play the leading witches of Oz– Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and Ariana Grande as Glinda. If you never had a chance to see Wicked on Broadway, worry not, for these two alone are sure to blow you away and bring an exciting new taste to the beloved show. The film also includes Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh as well as Jonathan Bailey, Ethan Slater, and Jeff Goldblum.

Wicked will be another Marc Platt production directed by Jon M. Chu, and it was recently announced that the adaptation will be released in two parts. The second part will come on December 25, 2025. The original Broadway version included Tony winning actresses Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth as Elphaba and Glinda, respectively. Idina Menzel already expressed her excitement for the film’s leading ladies, so we can’t wait to see these stars shine in their new roles upon the film’s release.


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Mean Girls: The Musical

Tina Fey’s Mean Girls has made it full circle! Starting out with the original feature film released in 2004, to the Broadway musical adapted from the film which showed from 2018-2020; the film adaptation of the Broadway musical began filming on March 6th. No release date has been announced yet, but Fey’s infamous coming of age comedy narrative has stood the test of time and is ready to take on a new medium.

Mean Girls: The Musical will release on streaming platform, Paramount +, directed by Arturo Perez Jr. and Samantha Jaynel. The film will feature a few crossover cast members from both the Broadway musical and the original film. Renee Rapp is cast as Regina Geroge, the same role she played on Broadway. Ashley Park, who originated the role of Gretchen Wieners on Broadway, will also make a cameo in the film. Tina Fey and Tim Meadows will adopt their roles from the original screenplay as Ms. Norbury and the Principal, respectively. The cast also includes Angourie Rice, Busy Phillips, Avantika, and Christopher Briney. Look out for a release date as we learn more about this fetch film’s development!


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The Color Purple

The iconic musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel that follows the experience of African-American women living in the South during the early twentieth century is soon to debut on the big screen. The Color Purple first appeared as a book to film adaptation in 1985 and was then adapted into a musical by Marsha Norman and produced by Oprah Winfrey. The production ran on Broadway from 2005-2008 and scored a Broadway revival with an all-star cast from 2015-2017, winning two Tony awards.
The new musical film adaptation wrapped filming on June 30, 2022, and will release in theaters on December 20, 2023. Oprah Winfrey is behind the production once again, along with Blitz Bazawule as director. They’ve hailed a phenomenal cast to deliver a new flavor to an established tale: Halle Bailey as Nettie, Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Fantasia Barrino as Celie, and they even brought back Danielle Brooks as Sofia, who played the same role in the revived Broadway production. We hope you’re as excited as we are to see the newest rendition of The Color Purple.


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About the Author

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Nailah Tukpah

Nailah Tukpah is a multimedia content writer/creator and senior student at Brown University. She currently interns for AfterBuzz TV and Heal Squad with Maria Menounos, and she aspires to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Nailah is from Maryland, a lover of fashion and film, and she can’t imagine a world without music.