May 28, 2020 at 12:01 pm #1203505633
Just as West Side Story is getting rebooted for the big screen, a new film adaptation of the 1964 Tony-winning musical, Fiddler on the Roof, is in the works. Tony and Emmy-winning director Thomas Kail set to be at the helm with Tony-winning Dear Evan Hansen scribe, Steven Levenson, set to pen the screenplay.
Thoughts?May 28, 2020 at 12:35 pm #1203505766
Nathan Lane and Barbra Streissand please!May 28, 2020 at 12:40 pm #1203505785
I was thinking Jake Gyllenhaal should star as Tevye.May 28, 2020 at 2:15 pm #1203506072
I love Jake and he needs a big musical role, but this one doesn’t feel like it. It is probably because all previous Tevye have looked older and Jake still looks awful young. Could he pull it off? I feel like they’d try for the very non-Jewish Hugh Jackman first, but might I suggest Robert Downey, Jr?May 28, 2020 at 2:20 pm #1203506080
I’m sorry, this is a terrible idea. West Side Story’s film is great, but it’s also dated and could use the update.
Fiddler on the Roof’s film is perfect how it is, and trying to make an updated version is just stupid.May 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm #1203506127
I love Jake and he needs a big musical role, but this one doesn’t feel like it. It is probably because all previous Tevye have looked older and Jake still looks awful young. Could he pull it off? I feel like they’d try for the very non-Jewish Hugh Jackman first, but might I suggest Robert Downey, Jr?
Then again, Topol was in his 30s when he first played the role on stage (as well as in the 1971 film version).May 28, 2020 at 4:55 pm #1203506307
I’m both excited and apprehensive about this. Excited because the creative team is top notch, but nervous because no casting has been announced yet, and the original 1971 film is among the greatest stage-to-screen adaptations of all time that rightfully earned all of its Oscar nominations and wins.
Please, for the love of God, NO POP STARS in the main cast!!!!May 28, 2020 at 5:54 pm #1203506374
As for my thoughts, I’m really not sure. The 1971 version directed by Norman Jewison starring Topol is one of my favorite film adaptations of a stage musical. While it may have the same lasting legacy of others such as West Side Story (which is actually number one for me), The Sound of Music, or Cabaret, I think Fiddler deserves to be in that pantheon. Not to mention that when film adaptations of Broadway musicals are made without any big stars in them such as 1776, Godspell, Rent, and Jersey Boys, they usually flop at the box office as they catered more towards a theatregoing audience which is never enough to turn a profit. Yet, Fiddler on the Roof was successfully able to gross over $83,000,000 worldwide on a budget of just $9,000,000. Especially at a time when the era of Hollywood musicals was starting to die down with flops such as Paint Your Wagon, Hello, Dolly!, and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
While I can see a film reboot of this being more excusable than West Side Story, still, if you got it right the first time, why bother doing it again? On the one hand, those are my exact feelings on the West Side Story reboot as well. But on the other hand, Steven Spielberg is directing that one, and as somebody who’s had a lot of commercial success over the years, he really is no slouch when it comes to creativity. So I actually am curious to see how that will turn out. However, if someone had to give me the task of putting these reboots together, I would have Steven Spielberg direct Fiddler on the Roof because he’s a proud Jew who told such an impactful story about his people with Schindler’s List. Meanwhile, I’d have Martin Scorsese direct West Side Story because he’s known for making films set in New York City as well as having unflinchingly graphic and realistic depictions of violence. Those pairings of director and material make more sense to me.
Though back to Fiddler, Michael Schwartz, who’s a contributor and podcaster for Next Best Picture, wrote on Twitter that he thinks “A new film for a new generation does not diminish the genius of the original film whatsoever. Remakes are like Broadway revivals. I find it fascinating to see a new interpretation. Doesn’t invalidate anything that came before.” Though I wrote a reply to him that said “That’s NOT the same thing. A great work can spend decades off the Broadway stage before it returns to dazzle a whole new generation of theatergoers. Meanwhile, movies live forever on the DVD shelf, or can be instantly accessed through streaming services. There’s always a way to see them.”
In any case, we’ll see how far this project goes because movies get announced all the time, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually happening. All it means is that they’re at least in the works for now. I’ve never been through this process, but I imagine that the creative team involved will have a lot of hoops to get through before the studio decides that they’ll officially be moving forward with the project.May 28, 2020 at 7:24 pm #1203506490
Then again, Topol was in his 30s when he first played the role on stage (as well as in the 1971 film version).
Yep, he’s the only main Tevye who was younger, but he could play older. Jake still looks young in the face. Now he’d be perfect for a Little Shop reboot (although Rick and Ellen are perfection so no need) or Sunday In the Park adaptation, maybe Company. Just don’t see him as Tevye. I’m not sure if I have watched the movie all the way through but I have seen a stage production.
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