'Back to the Future' and the '80s Movie Musical Bonanza

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Back to the Future is becoming a stage musical, according to a report out today, so what other '80s fantasy flicks can we picture in a Broadway context? 

The AP's Mark Kennedy reported today that the movie's original director, Robert Zemeckis, is working on a stage musical of the 1985 story of Marty McFly's return to the '50s thanks to the time-traveling DeLorean built by Doc Brown. Zemeckis will cowrite the book and music, and lyrics will be provided by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard. The musical is set to open in London in 2015. 

We can already see it making its way to Broadway starring a young kid from Juilliard as Marty in his Broadway debut and Nobert Leo Butz as Doc Brown. But what other 80s fantasy movies would make good musicals? Let's look into this, imaging their hit songs, their trademark pieces of stagecraft, and whether anyone has actually thought about doing this.  

The Goonies

Hit song: "Andy, You Goonie," a duet between between bully Troy and Andy, in which Andy rejects him and accepts that she, in fact, is a Goonie. 

Wondrous piece of stagecraft: Why of course, the big pirate ship that dominates the stage in the climax. 

Could this really happen? Goonies musical is reportedly in the works, but now that Cyndi Lauper, who wrote the Goonies theme song, is a Tony-winning songwriter for Kinky Boots we think she should definitely be on board. 

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Hit song: Are you serious? You know what it is. Ray Parker Jr. can start collecting those sweet royalties for his title song.

Wondrous piece of stagecraft: The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man puppet, from the makers of the War Horse horses. 

Could this really happen? A Broadway musical doesn't seem to be in the cards for Ghostbusters, though there was a Halloween parody. There have also been past rumors that Ghostbusters 3 would be a film musical.


Hit song: "Phone Home," the passionate second act number sung by little Elliott to his beloved alien composed by Jason Robert Brown. 

Wondrous piece of stagecraft:  The flying bicycle during the chase sequence. 

Could this really happen? According to Broadway.com fans would be into it, but no, nothing serious. 


Hit song: "Bioexorcist Blues," Beetlejuice's first song, a first act, introductory number. Music and lyrics for the show are composed by Lin Manuel-Miranda. Lorde stars in her Broadway debut as Lydia Deetz. 

Wondrous piece of stagecraft: The sandworm. Duh.

Could this really happen?  The only Beetlejuice musical that seems to be in existence is a Universal Studios stage show, so this is up for grabs. 


Hit song: "Don't Feed Them," a finale sung by the company written by Stephen Schwartz. 

Wondrous piece of stagecraft: A mix of light tricks and puppeteering to produce the multiplying mogwai. 

Could this really happen? Well, it doesn't seem to be in the works, but here's Krysta Rodriguez doing the "why I hate Christmas" speech from the movie. Casting ideas!


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.