Movie musical flops aside, 'Memphis' headed for the big screen

— The recent movie musicals “Nine” and “Rock of Ages” both tanked at the box office, but that apparently isn’t stopping producers from investing in an effort to adapt the Tony-winning “Memphis” for the big screen.

“Memphis” will be turned into a movie produced by Belle Pictures, the Mark Gordon Co. and Alcon Entertainment, according to various published reports on Sunday. Joe DiPietro, who co-wrote the musical, reportedly will write the screen adaptation.

The musical features a score by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan.

The show opened on Broadway in 2009 and won the Tony Award for best new musical. That followed a pre-Broadway run that included the La Jolla Playhouse in 2008. “Memphis” also spawned a national tour.

Set in the racially segregated 1950s, “Memphis” tells the story of a relationship between a black singer and a white disc jockey, set against the early years of rock ‘n’ roll. The Broadway production was directed by Christopher Ashley, the artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse.

“Memphis” has actually come to cinemas before, in the form of a high-definition taping at New York’s Shubert Theatre that was broadcast to movie theaters in 2011. The Broadway production of the musical has also aired on PBS and is available on DVD.


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