Rob Reiner Really, Really Wants to Adapt Musical 'Next to Normal'

December 3, 2010

Next to Normal

It looks like This Is Spinal Tap/Stand by Me/The Princess Bride director Rob Reiner, most recently of the wonderful Flipped, wants to get into musicals next. (via The Playlist) posted new quotes from Reiner recently, who stated very enthusiastically that he is "dying to make" a movie version of the acclaimed musical Next to Normal. "The picture that I would love to make… I've been lobbying for this since it went on Broadway. [It] just recently won a Pulitzer Prize and won a couple of Tonys, called Next to Normal," he said. But they don't say whether or not he actually has the rights yet, so for now it's just hopeful speculation.

Why is Reiner so interested in it? "It is a completely and utterly unique project and I've been dying to make a musical. It's done brilliantly and it's very uplifting," he said. If he's passionate about it, then go for it. Next to Normal, which opened on Broadway last year, is a rock musical by Brian Yorker and Tom Kitt that is about a suburban mother who has bipolar disorder. "An emotional powerhouse of a musical with a thrilling contemporary score about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other." It won a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year and picked up 11 Tony nominations and is currently in Los Angeles and still on Broadway.

Flipped, which not many people actually saw even though it's damn good, proved that Reiner still has it, so I'm hoping he can actually get this project going, as that kind of passion will only mean great things when/if he adapts Next to Normal for the big screen. For now, it's Reiner just talking about what he really wants to do. You can also visit the show's official website for info and tickets in the meantime.

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Brilliant, intense musical...definitely worthy of a movie, but it would have to be very artistic like the stage version could be cool if done right

Joey on Dec 3, 2010


This is one of my favorite new musicals and the story is so intense and personal. It is definitely a good addition to the "Rock musical" genre. I would love to see what is done with this on the big screen.

Maxx on Dec 3, 2010


Oh and if they are going to make this into a film so soon after its release on Broadway then I would hope that they could bring the original cast into the project.

Maxx on Dec 3, 2010


It's an intensely emotional and powerful story- the hype is well justified. And the score is jaw droppingly beautiful. I sat front row, and left feeling emotionally drained, but in a hard to describe, good, way. It's the kind of thing you need to recover from, but you're glad you saw it. A film version should keep the level of emotional impact, the uncanny sense of familiarity of dysfunctional suburbia (a common theme since American Beauty, but still stirring), and a cast that is believable and captivating. And bring in someone top notch to adapt the script-- I imagine it will have more dialogue, a la the Rent adaptation, and it should be done skillfully.

Cheryl on Dec 3, 2010


Meryl Streep an Diana....a must

Gedhtd on Aug 29, 2011

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