Movies that have been adapted into Broadway shows
Learn more about all of the movies that have been made into Broadway musicals.
Some of Broadway's most popular musicals all share a common theme: They're based on films. Whether based on a blockbuster hit or an independent film, Broadway musicals and plays based on movies often bring a new audience into the theatre, and they often showcase chart-topping hits on the stage, too.
Discover all the movie musicals on Broadway you can see now, as well as recent movie-to-musical adaptations that have entertained Broadway audiences and movies that became plays.
Get tickets to a Broadway show on New York Theatre Guide.
Movie musicals on Broadway right now
From family-friendly offerings to classic comedies to thrilling dramas, movies of all genres have gotten the stage treatment. Discover all the Broadway shows based on movies with tickets available now.
Disney took audiences to "A Whole New World" with the 1992 animated film, as Aladdin and Jasmine went on their quests to find true love. The genie must have used one of his wishes to visit Broadway, as the stage adapatation of Aladdin premiered at the New Amsterdam Theatre in 2014. Aladdin follows the same storyline as its preceding film: The lovable street urchin Aladdin uses the Genie's magic to win his princess, while Jafar seeks the throne for himself. Broadway and Disney fans rejoiced together at the new musical additions, including songs like "Proud of Your Boy" and "These Palace Walls."
A live-action film adaptation of Aladdin was released in 2019, starring Will Smith as the Genie. In turn, it's popularized the musical once more, with many "Arabian Nights" to come on Broadway.
Get Aladdin tickets now.
In 1994, Disney took us to the Serengeti via the silver screen, thanks to The Lion King. Inspired by William Shakespeare's Hamlet and with a powerful soundtrack to boot, The Lion King was destined for Broadway. Eventually, The Lion King made its Broadway premiere in 1997 and continues to dominate the stage today, having become the third-longest-running musical in Broadway history.
In the film and musical, young lion cub Simba journeys through the savannah to become King of the Pride Lands and succeed his father, Mufasa. The two versions of the story share the same music, with songs such as "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" gaining commercial success outside of the theatre. The Broadway "Circle of Life" isn't complete without The Lion King.
Get The Lion King tickets now.
Baz Luhrmann's 1999 movie Moulin Rouge defines opulence. Set in the world-famous Parisian cabaret, audiences gushed over writer Christian and showgirl Satine's forbidden love, set to a romantic soundtrack including "Come What May." It's not just the acting that wowed audiences — the iconic can-can costumes and stunning scenic design went on to win Academy Awards. When the stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge: The Musical was announced, the production quickly became one of the most-anticipated musicals of the century.
The musical stays true to the film, bringing the Parisian nightlife scene to Broadway. But, there's an extra sprinkle of Broadway magic in the musical, including over 70 pop songs from more than four decades. So, say "hey sista, go sista" and enter the Moulin Rouge.
Get Moulin Rouge! The Musical tickets now.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The exact plot of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child hasn't been seen on screen, as this show about Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Draco's children's Hogwarts adventures was written as a play from the start. But the characters are based on J.K. Rowling's beloved books and film series.
The main characters from the films are all in this continuation of the Harry Potter series, and fan-favorite characters from throughout the series make appearances. And if you thought believable illusions were only possible due to "movie magic," think again — the incredible magic on stage in Cursed Child has left Broadway audiences spellbound since 2018.
Get Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets now.
Some Like It Hot
This Billy Wilder-directed classic starring Marilyn Monroe has gone down in history as one of the most beloved comedy films ever made. This jazzy, brassy stage adaptation retains its plot: Two musicians on the run from the mob stow away with a traveling all-female band disguised as women.
But as adapted for the 21st century by Tony-winning playwright Matthew López and comedienne Amber Ruffin, the Some Like It Hot musical gives these characters a fresh update. Now, the story is an equally funny and inspiring one of finding and celebrating one's true identity.
Get Some Like It Hot tickets now.
Movie-to-musical adaptations don't just drop anchor on Broadway — you can find them docked off Broadway too. Titanique, a campy spoof on the Oscar-winning Titanic film, is one such example. Celine Dion is the lead character in this musical, sharing her own recollection of Jack and Rose's romance and singing all her greatest hits along the way.
The show frequently changes to include up-to-the-minute pop culture jokes, making the time-honored story feel fresh and funny. Our critic wrote in a four-star Titanique review, "Don't go expecting a piece of high art or a faithful recreation of the James Cameron film it's based on, but do expect a titanic amount of pure joy."
Get Titanique tickets now.
Back to the Future
Great Scott, Back to the Future's a musical now! The stage adaptation of the hit sci-fi comedy film first landed, DeLorean and all, on the London stage in 2021. After winning the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, it didn't need roads to go across the pond to New York.
The Back to the Future Broadway show features lots of original songs, but it also preserves the film's fan favorites "Johnny B. Goode" and "The Power of Love." As adapted by the screenplay's co-writer Bob Gale, the plot also remains the same: Teenager Marty McFly almost stops his parents from falling in love when he travels back in time to 1955, and he must make things right. On stage, though, the story is amplified by 1.21 gigawatts of Broadway magic.
The Shark Is Broken
The Shark Is Broken isn’t your average film-to-stage adaptation. This play, led by Ian Shaw, is a behind-the-scenes look into the filming of the Spielberg blockbuster Jaws — and all the mishaps that occurred in the process. Ian Shaw is the son of Robert Shaw, who played Quint in the 1975 film, giving as close to a firsthand account as you can get. No show will get audiences (safely) closer to Jaws.
Get The Shark Is Broken tickets now.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, released in 1975, is perhaps the best-known film by British comedy troupe Monty Python. The show parodies the legend of King Arthur going on a quest to obtain the Holy Grail. In 2005, original Monty Python member created Spamalot, a musical adaptation of the film. The title riffs on the musical Camelot, and the show includes funny references to lots of other Broadway musicals. Spamalot ran for four years and won three Tony Awards upon its 2005 premiere, and the first Broadway revival hits the stage in fall 2023.
Get Spamalot tickets now.
This story of lovers who, after decades being pushed and pulled apart, defy the odds to be together began as a book by Nicholas Sparks. But The Notebook is equally beloved as a film. The 2004 movie starred Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams and is a classic Valentine's Day watch. Now, Ingrid Michaelson and Bekah Brunstetter have adapted the story for the stage, bringing audiences closer to the story than ever before.
Francis Ford Coppola's movie, based on S. E. Hinton's same-named novel, was a slow hit upon its 1983 release. The movie earned back triple its budget and received mostly positive critical reviews, but Hinton and Coppola's gritty, unflinching portrayal of down-and-out youth who only have each other to rely on was perhaps ahead of its time. Since the film's release, though, it's become a cult classic, and a new generation now gets to experience the story as a folk musical on Broadway.
Water for Elephants
Francis Lawrence directed the high-flying 2011 film adaptation of Sara Gruen's bestselling circus novel. Starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson as star-crossed lovers, Water for Elephants drew audiences into the circus and its sometimes sinister behind-the-scenes atmosphere. The drama now unfolds live in the Broadway stage musical, adapted from the book and the film.
Days of Wine and Roses
JP Miller's story of a couple wrecked by alcoholism first appeared on screen as a 1958 teleplay, which he later adapted for a 1962 film starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. Now, Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas, the Tony-winning writers behind The Light in the Piazza, bring their signature soaring, romantic, and bittersweet sound to this story's musical adaptation.
The Wiz has not only one film associated with it, but two. Of course, there's the iconic 1939 Wizard of Oz film that serves as the musical's source material. The Wiz gives the tale an all-Black cultural refresh, and that version premiered as a movie musical of its own in 1978 starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, and more.
It's not just older films that are the inspiration for musical hits. The 2016 indie movie Sing Street was adapted for the stage soon after, premiering at New York Theatre Workshop in 2019. Based on John Carney's film, the stage production sees Conor, an sixteen-year-old Irish boy discover how music can be an artistic escape. There's music and lyrics by Carney in the stage show too, with a book by Enda Walsh. After the 2019 premiere, Sing Street was due to open on Broadway in 2020. At the moment, the Broadway premiere is postponed, but we can't wait for this thrilling musical to be back in New York.Check back for information on Sing Street tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
Movie adaptations previously seen on Broadway
Broadway has a long history of screen-to-stage adaptations. Learn about more of your favorite movies that have gotten the play or musical treatment over the years. How many have you seen?
New York, New York
Start spreading the news. The 1977 Martin Scorsese film New York, New York had a lot going for it — a cast led by Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro, indelible Kander and Ebb songs including the iconic title theme — but it flopped in its time. But the story got a second chance as a stage musical, which preserved Kander and Ebb's songs and added new ones by Kander and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The musical changes the plot a bit, too, focusing on a diverse group of young artists seeking success in a thriving, post-World War II Manhattan. Under the direction of five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, there was lots of A-number-one dancing, romance, and glitz.
Life of Pi
Before Life of Pi was even a movie, it was a book by Yann Martel. In 2012, 11 years after the book came out, film audiences joined the title teenager and a Bengal tiger on an epic survival adventure on the high seas. The movie took home four Academy Awards (and was nominated for seven more). The stage adaptation brings the thrills even closer to the audience. Mesmerizing stagecraft brings the animals and the ocean to life in this play, which won the Best New Play Olivier Award for its world premiere in London.
9 to 5
There was no "stumblin' to the kitchen" for this Broadway musical. The 1980s workplace drama was perfect Broadway fodder; a group of female employees coming together and standing up for what they believe in was guaranteed to appeal to theatregoers. 9 to 5 opened at the Marquis Theatre in April 2009, with Megan Hilty playing Doralee, the role made famous by Dolly Parton. Receiving dozens of award nominations, the show couldn't translate them into wins, with 9 to 5 closing in September 2009. Check out our review of 9 to 5.
When The Band's Visit premiered in 2007, it was praised for its hard-hitting storyline, exploring the relationship between Arabs and Israelis. The Band's Visit tells of an Egyptian police band ushered to the Israeli desert after a bureaucratic mixup, using their music to inspire a new community. A decade later, the sounds were heard at Broadway's Barrymore Theatre, winning 10 Tony Awards. The band's visit wasn't fleeting though, instead continuing to make music for 18 months. Read our review of The Band's Visit.
It was a beautiful "Day-o" when news of a Beetlejuice musical was announced. Based on the 1980s horror comedy, the musical follows the relationship between Lydia Deetz and a ghost with a penchant for a striped suit. Beetlejuice features songs made famous by the original film, including "Jump In The Line" and "The Banana Boat Song," as well as new music by Eddie Perfect.
After a world premiere in Washington D.C, theatre fans called "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice" for a Broadway transfer and that's what happened! Alex Brightman played the striped suit ghost at the Winter Garden Theatre, with Beetlejuice nominated for eight Tony Awards. Read our review of Beetlejuice.
Bring It On: The Musical
Sporting rivalries took center stage in the Broadway premiere of Bring It On: The Musical, based on the 2000 movie. Truman High and Jackson High both want to win a cheerleading trophy, doing whatever it takes to come first. But with rivalries coming off the field, the teams quickly realise what they need to focus on - themselves. After a world premiere in Atlanta, Bring It On transferred to St. James Theatre, only playing for six months. But, the musical did put a certain composer on the map, named Lin-Manuel Miranda. Read our Bring It On review.
Catch Me If You Can
Not all musicals follow the good guy. Inspired by the 2000s crime film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Catch Me If You Can flew onto the stage, landing on Broadway in 2011. The film and musical's premises are similar, telling the true stories of Frank Abagnale, the con artist who assumed multiple identities to get by. Broadway audiences wanted to "Live in Living Color" when the musical opened, with reviewers calling Norbert Leo Butz a "song and dance man that makes you want to join the party." Sadly, Frank Abagnale couldn't keep up the identities for too long on Broadway, as Catch Me If You Can only ran for six months at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Transforming St. James Theatre into a winter wonderland, audiences walked into Arendelle thanks to the stage adaptation of Frozen. Based on the 2011 Disney animation, the Broadway musical follows a similar story: Anna and Kristoff must rescue their sister Elsa, who runs away after her coronation fearing her powers. There was nothing to fear with Frozen though, especially with anthemic songs like "Let It Go" and "Monster," written for the musical.Sadly, Frozen is now closed on Broadway. Global productions are still in the works, though, including shows in London and Melbourne. Read our review of Frozen.
First came the 1988 musical comedy, making a star out of Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad. Fifteen years later, the stage adaptation of Hairspray came to the Neil Simon Theatre and a contemporary musical classic was born. Set in 1960s Baltimore, Hairspray tackles themes of race, segregation, and identity politics all through a dance show, with newcomer Tracy Turnblad revolutionizing "The Corny Collins Show." Marissa Jaret Winkour made her Tony Award-winning Broadway debut as Tracy, along with Harvey Fierstein as Edna and Matthew Morrison as Link. After the 2003 musical, a new film adaptation of Hairspray was released, lending itself to the musical developments as seen on stage. Nobody can stop the beat when Hairspray comes to town. Read our review of Hairspray.
We all know the infamous gigantic gorilla that causes destruction wherever it goes. So, when the musical adaptation of King Kong came to Broadway, fans went rampant through Manhattan to get their hands on a ticket. Loosely inspired by the 1933 King Kong movie, the musical sees an actress named Ann and a friendly filmmaker try to discover the beast, with Ann and King Kong forming a new friendship.
For the Broadway musical, a company of puppeteers (collectively dubbed the King's Company) operated Kong's limbs, but all the technical marvels weren't enough to keep the eighth wonder of the world on stage. King Kong played for nine months at the Broadway Theatre, but the show "is a visual feast [that] marks a new era of what's possible."
Theatre definitely got "so much better" when Legally Blonde came to town. Considered to be one of the greatest female-driven comedies of all time, the 2001 movie follows Elle Woods's journey to becoming a kick-ass Harvard lawyer. So, when Elle Woods came to Broadway, she immediately became a theatre icon. An original score was added by Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe, with numbers including "Positive" and "Bend and Snap." There wa even a reality television competition to discover the next Elle Woods. For all the musical's hype though, the show only ran for 15 months at the Palace Theatre. Read our review of Legally Blonde.
On Broadway, we wear pink. Or at least that's what Mean Girls does. Based on the 2004 Tina Fey comedy, high school drama becomes synonymous with animals fighting for survival in this Broadway musical, following a naive Cady Heron who just wants to get through high school. Due to the film's constant popularity, Mean Girls became an instant stage hit of modern times. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that Mean Girls won't return to the August Wilson Theatre, but the musical definitely made fetch happen. Read our Mean Girls review.
These energetic newspaper boys definitely knew how to "Seize the Day!" Based on the 1992 Disney film, the dramatization of New York City newsboys cartwheeled, flipped and spun its way onto the Nederlander Theatre, with Jeremy Jordan as leader Jack Kelly. Even though it's a lesser-known Disney movie, Alan Menken's music made its way into our hearts; songs like "Carrying The Banner" and "King of New York" featured on the Tony Award-winning score. But, just like the ever-changing news stories, Broadway shows change, with Newsies closing in 2014. Read our Newsies review.
Julia Roberts and Richard Gere gave iconic performances in the nineties romcom Pretty Woman as Vivian and Edward. So, when audiences finally stepped onto Rodeo Drive via the Nederlander Theatre in Pretty Woman: The Musical, excitement was in the air. Staying true to the original movie, the musical features a book by Pretty Woman screenplay and director Garry Marshall & J.F. Lawton, with new music by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Pretty Woman didn't make a big... no... huge... impact on Broadway, though, closing after a year. Read our Pretty Woman review.
Musicals tend to focus on hopeful, heartwarming stories with endearing characters. Not The Producers though. The Mel Brooks storyline sees a theatre producer and his accountant create the worst musical known to man. Its Broadway adaptation was laden with industry jokes, as well as gags and stereotypical caricatures which ensured it stood out from all other musicals. So much so, The Producers broke theatre records at the time, winning 12 Tony Awards. The Producers also broke St. James Theatre box office records too, showing just how much audiences love their films on stage. Read our The Producers review.
What would you do to score the role of a lifetime? That's a question that Michael Dorsey asks himself in Tootsie, reinventing himself as actress Dorothy Michaels to keep acting. Coincidentally, the 1982 comedy was also revamped with its Broadway musical adaptation, with Santino Fontana winning his first Tony Award in the lead role. Critics hailed Tootsie an "old-fashioned musical comedy" but the musical only ran at the Marquis Theatre for nine months.
Adrienne Shelly's 2007 Waitress film was posthumously released, following a young waitress who dreams of a new life. Although Waitress didn't break any cinema records, its charm made it perfect for adapting into a musical, with Waitress premiering in 2015. An all-female creative team worked on the production including music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles. Waitress eventually transferred to Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre in 2016 and ran for four years, with stars including Todrick Hall, Jordin Sparks, and Jessie Mueller all performing in the musical. Read our Waitress review.
From page to film to stage, Mrs. Doubtfire definitely gets around. In the 1993 film, Robin Williams gave an Academy Award-winning performance as the newly divorced Daniel Hillard, who hatched a cunning plan to dress up and be hired as his kids Scottish nanny. After a world premiere in Seattle, Mrs. Doubtfire was due to open on Broadway in 2020, starring Rob McClure, but the opening was postponed until 2021.
Originally published on