Arts & Culture

Paul McCartney Is Writing a Musical Version of It’s a Wonderful Life

George Bailey might be headed to Broadway.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES
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Paul McCartney has conquered the music charts as both a Beatle and a solo act, but now, he has his eye on Broadway: he's working on a musical version of Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.

McCartney has teamed up with writer Lee Hall, who previously worked with Elton John on Billy Elliot: The Musical, and producer Bill Kenwright on the project, which could hit the stage as early as next year.

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Photo by KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES.

"Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me," McCartney said in a statement, according to the New York Post. "But Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun."

For those unfamiliar with the movie, it has something of a dark premise for a much-beloved holiday film. It follows George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart), a down-on-his-luck everyman, who thinks his family's better off with him dead. When an angel comes to save him from a suicide attempt, George is given a gift: to see what life would be like if he had never been born.

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A scene from the film version of It’s A Wonderful Life.
Photo by HERBERT DORFMAN / GETTY IMAGES.

George Bailey's story is often thought of as a decidedly American classic, but McCartney sees it as "a universal story we can all relate to." And Kenwright is already setting high expectations for the stage adaptation.

"To be honest I was hooked on first hearing him say ‘one/two/three/four’ on the demo of the opening number! But since then it’s been an extraordinary journey–on every song I experience Paul’s unique gift of melody and composition," he said.

"It’s musical theatre – but it’s always McCartney. Paul, Lee, and I use the word ‘cherish’ when we refer to our source material and that’s what we intend to do. Cherish Frank Capra’s creation."

At this point, details about the musical's run are limited. Per the Post, a theater has yet to be booked, but it is believed that it will premiere in the U.K. before heading across the pond to Broadway. We'll be sure to keep you updated.

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*This article originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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Caroline Hallemann
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