Hey, the good news is that musicals are back. The bad news is that they’re remaking Jesus Christ Superstar. Now, to be honest I don’t think I’ve ever seen the whole original movie. My father said it was “just a bunch of hippies” so it wasn’t ever turned on in our house. But since then I’ve seen parts of it and I conclude it’s “just a bunch of hippies.”
But hippies are out and I’m not even sure what’s in at this point. But they’re remaking it.
After Mamma Mia!’s global earnings of $600 million last year, Universal may be looking toward Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber for its next movie musical success. The studio is apparently developing an adaptation of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar with an interesting directorial choice: 500 Days of Summer director Marc Webb. Here’s more:
The story . . . is generally is seen as decidedly a product of the ’70s, with some characters played as hippies. And Webb, well, he’s a product of the modern era, fashioning a career out of stylish but emotionally potent music videos for the likes of Green Day (and then, of course, the musical melancholy of Summer).
But Webb has long had an affinity for the project, a rock opera that (perhaps a little like parts of Summer) mixes spiritual uplift with the pop-music type. And just as [director Norman] Jewison’s involvement brought a ’70s sensibility to the original, Webb could bring a modern, hipstery take.
Hipsters? What does that even mean?
But Jesus Christ Superstar has a number of problems in that it leaves open the question of Christ’s divinity and pushes Judas ahead as probably more sympathetic than Jesus. Tim Rice, the writer, said, “It happens that we don’t see Christ as God but simply the right man at the right time at the right place.”
No wonder Hollywood loves it so much. I, for one, doubt I’ll see it. But maybe I’m wrong. Anyone who’s actually seen the whole thing maybe could tell me more.