Paul McCartney is writing a musical about It's a Wonderful Life
18 July 2019, 12:30
The greatest singer-songwriter meets the greatest Christmas movie? Yes please.
Sir Paul McCartney has done everything from children's books to classical pieces, but he's never written a stage musical before.
The former Beatle is now working on an adaptation of Frank Capra's movie It's A Wonderful Life, which tells the story of a suicidal man saved by a guardian angel.
Sir Paul was four when the film was first released in 1946, and has called it "a universal story we can all relate to".
The musical will be released in "late 2020", according to its producer Bill Kenwright, who has previously worked on West End hits Blood Brothers and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Lee Hall, who wrote Billy Elliot and the Elton John biopic Rocketman, will write the script, and will work with Sir Paul on the song lyrics.
"It's A Wonderful Life is my favourite film," said Hall. "It has absolutely everything - comedy, pathos and a rare humanity which has touched generation after generation.
"To give it a life on the stage is an immense privilege in itself, but to do with Paul McCartney is off the scale. Paul's wit, emotional honesty and melodic brilliance brings a whole new depth and breadth to the classic tale. I feel as if an angel must be looking after me."
However, this will not be the first time the movie has been turned into a musical, but it will hopefully be received better than the first.
In 1986, a US production with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Joe Raposo suffered from various delays and a dispute over the story's rights. A 2006 off-Broadway revival also received mixed reviews.
Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, It's A Wonderful Life wasn't a hit at the box office in 1946. However, it later became a Christmas classic, and was also recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made.
Sir Paul did previously write a movie musical titled Give My Regards to Broad Street, but it was sadly not well received by critics back in 1984.
Earlier this week, Sir Paul surprised fans by reuniting with Sir Ringo Starr on stage in the US, and it was rather emotional.