FILM

"Matilda" and the Brain-Melting Trend of Movie-Musical-Movies

It's the second announcement this month of a movie based on a musical based on a movie.

Sony and Netflix announced on Tuesday that they will be partnering to produce a new Matilda movie based on the Broadway musical.

If you're feeling confused right now—thinking that you've already seen a Matilda movie based on the Roald Dahl novel, breathe easily with the knowledge that you are not hallucinating a memory of Danny DeVito with bleached blonde hair. It happened. Just as Nelson Mandela survived prison and you grew up reading the Berenstain Bears, you really did watch Miss Trunchbull swing a little girl around by her pigtails in 1996. And this new movie is not attempting to replace the special joy of seeing an eight-year-old Mara Wilson gain magic telekinetic powers and use them to assault authority figures. Nothing can take that away from you, and this new movie isn't even an attempt. It's not a reboot or an update. No, this movie is an adaptation of the Broadway musical that was adapted from the 1996 movie that was based on the 1988 novel.

Danny DeVito

If that sounds like an absurd telephone game of mounting degrees of removal and adaptation, you are clearly just out of touch. This is the latest trend in filmmaking. Last week it was announced that the Broadway musical version of Mean Girls, based on the 2004 movie Mean Girls, is also being adapted into a musical movie that will presumably be called Mean Girls.

When the 2005 film The Producers pioneered the daring approach of making a musical movie based on a live musical that was itself based on a 1967 Mel Brooks film about making a musical, the resounding response was that they had gone too far even for a franchise that was so intentionally self-referential and absurd. The movie bombed despite its all-star cast. But clearly they were just ahead of their time. MTV made a hesitant foray into the same arena when they aired a recording of the Legally Blonde musical based on the 2001 movie, but that was just bringing the existing stage version to a wider audience.

Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane in The Producers

But at long last it appears that the era of movie-musical-movies has finally arrived. In other words, the end times are upon us. If you've managed to read this entire article without getting a nose bleed, you are the chosen one. Let the chorus of angels sing your praises while performing elaborately choreographed dance routines.

FILM & TV

Elle Woods is Making a Comeback – Legally Blonde 3 is in the Works

Reese and the Gang are Coming to a Theater Near You

Can you believe Legally Blonde was a hit 17 years ago?

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The always adorable actress Reese Witherspoon played the role of Elle Woods with personality and pep, and her pretty-in-pink popularity became iconic ever since. So much so that a sequel (Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde) came out in '03 and even a Broadway musical based on the movie was created. It seemed to be the end of Woods' run (aside from catching regular reruns on Bravo or E!), but Witherspoon isn't yet finished wowing us with more of Woods' wonderment, wisdom, and whimsy.

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Hold on to your popcorn because thanks to a deal with MGM, Legally Blonde 3 is happening! With the original film's producer and Witherspoon joining forces with him both behind and front of the camera, fans of the female-fronted franchise will be sure to flock to theaters to find out what Woods will do next in the current climate and whether she's still clutching her chihuahua and Chanel bag. And as Complex reports, "The story will be "more about female empowerment" than Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde." Fierce-meets-fabulous.

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The plot for movie #3 has not been released nor has the opening date, but just like the first two Legally Blonde flicks, the third is destined to be a charm. Surely, fans of the original and a new slew of young moviegoers will bolt to the box office to unleash their inner blonde bombshells and brush up on "legal matters." Witherspoon is always a treat as is the rest of the Legally Blonde cast which hopefully makes their return in the third installment of this feel-good franchise.

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Stay tuned for more info about Legally Blonde 3.

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Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, AMC Daycare, and more.


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