Moulin Rouge! is finally getting the stage musical it has always deserved. Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! racked up eight Oscar nominations and got the world singing and dancing in 2001 and now, fifteen years later, the sparkling movie musical is finally getting the stage production it has long deserved. Tony Award-winning playwright John Logan, who penned the screenplays for Gladiator and The Aviator, is writing the book, is on board while two-time Tony nominee Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Here Lies Love) will be directing. The cast, venue and official opening night are yet to be confirmed, but early developmental work has reportedly already begun so come what may, this is happening.
Moulin Rouge! follows the tragic romance of two star-crossed lovers – glamourous courtesan Satine and naive young poet Christian – who begin a passionate affair in the infamous Parisian nightclub.
Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor played the lead roles in the beautifully-shot film, which saw the cast cover an eclectic range of popular 20th-century songs, most memorably in the “Elephant Love Medley”. Moulin Rouge! premiered at Cannes and went on to gross over $179 million at the global box office. It was the first musical to be nominated for Best Picture since 1991’s Beauty and the Beast. Luhrmann has praised the choice of Timbers and Logan, writing in a statement that it is “immensely gratifying to know that a new wave of artists will be leading Moulin Rouge! into its rightful theatrical realm”.
Global Creatures are producing the show in partnership with 20th Century Fox after previously reimagining Lurhmann’s 1992 film Strictly Ballroom for the stage. The new production will stay faithful to the original storyline, with further details yet to be announced.
Last month, Timbers parted ways with Disney after initially being linked with the studio’s upcoming Broadway musical of Frozen. It remains unknown whether commitment to Moulin Rouge! was the reason behind his departure.