“La La Land” has its eyes on Broadway. The Academy Award-winning movie musical is being adapted into a stage project.
Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated playwright Ayad Akhtar and veteran Philadelphia theater director Matthew Decker are co-writing the book. Oscar winner Justin Hurwitz, who penned the movie’s songs and the film’s score, will compose music for the stage score. Hurwitz is reuniting with the film’s Oscar-winning lyricists, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher is set to helm the production.
The film “La La Land,” written and directed by Damien Chazelle, won six Oscars in 2017, including Best Director for Chazelle, Best Original Score for Hurwitz and Best Original Song for Hurwitz, Pasek and Paul for their song “City of Stars.” Pasek and Paul are Tony winners for their score to “Dear Evan Hansen.” They also recently became Tony-winning producers when “A Strange Loop” won the 2022 Best Musical prize.
A “La La Land” stage musical would mark their first songwriting return to the Main Stem since “Evan Hansen” — and Hurwitz’s Broadway debut. It would also mark Decker’s first Broadway credit.
Akhtar was last represented on Broadway with his 2017 play “Junk.” Sher is currently at work as director of the upcoming “Camelot” revival.
“La La Land” follows two people: an aspiring actor and jazz musician as they each work to make it in Los Angeles. The movie musical starred Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
“La La Land” grossed $151 million at the North American box office and $472 million globally. Previously, the property was adapted into a staged concert, which has been touring since 2017.
Marc Platt and Lionsgate, both producers on the film, will repeat their work for the new musical. The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by EVP and head of global products and experiences Jenefer Brown, EVP of business and legal affairs Eva Feder and Stefan Schick of Loeb & Loeb.
Notably, live stage productions have previously launched based on other Lionsgate properties, including “Dirty Dancing,” “Now You See Me,” “Wonder” and “Nashville.”