Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) is certainly one not afraid to shy away from trying out a lot of different genres in his movies and this new project will see him stretch his usual flamboyant self in a different direction. The Daily Mail has reported that Boyle is currently in negotiations to direct Miss Saigon, a musical based on a stage musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil. Yes, you heard that right – a musical. If the talks are successful, this will be Boyle’s first foray into directing a musical, though it is not the first time he has expressed interest in the genre, as he showed interest in an adaptation of My Fair Lady several years ago and also planned a musical biopic about David Bowie, only to be turned down by the man himself.
It’s an interesting change for Boyle though one which I have no doubt he can be successful with. The adaptation will be produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner who all previously worked on Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Les Miserables, which was also based off a stage play by Schönberg and Boublil. Let’s just hope that if this comes to fruition, the singing will be more bearable than that adaptation, which had me grateful I was watching it on DVD and could mute half the scenes and read subtitles instead.
Miss Saigon is a story set during the Vietnam war, following an American G.I. named Chris and a 17-year-old Vietnamese bar girl named Kim. The two fall desperately in love, but are abruptly separated when Chris returns to America. The musical remains popular, however it is not without controversy — it’s been criticized for its racist and sexist overtones and its promotion of Orientalist stereotypes. Something which I’m sure the movie will probably try and rectify – though Boyle is one that is not afraid of controversy in his films.
No actors have yet been announced and there is no word on who the screenplay is written by, so it is likely this could be very early in development – which is probably a good thing for Boyle who has his hands quite full already at the moment. He is currently working on a new television series called Trust and is also getting everything ready to shoot Trainspotting 2, which is expected to start filming later in the year.
I’m not a fan of musicals, but do like Boyle’s stylistic direction, so it might be something worth watching for the spectacle alone while trying to mute the singing as much as possible.
Last Updated: March 15, 2016