With the recent success of big screen musicals like Mamma Mia! and Disney’s youth-oriented High School Musical series, it makes sense that Universal would be looking to assemble another musical that meets somewhere in the middle. And hey, if they can get all the religious groups on board at the same time, well then it doesn’t get much better than that! Word on the street is that they are actively developing a remake of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar with producer Marc Platt (Wanted, Nine, Legally Blonde). They’ve now got a director in their sights as well: 500 Days of Summer director Marc Webb.
According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Risky Biz Blog, Webb is interested in the project, and based on his music video background the studio is hoping that he can produce “a modern, hipstery take” on the original. Ugh… the thought of that just does not appeal to me at all. I’m assuming that Webb has come under consideration specifically because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s choreographed dance sequence in 500 Days of Summer (which is admittedly one of the highlights of the film), but this is already starting to sound a little too much like Moulin Rouge or Across The Universe for my taste. On the other hand, maybe they can take a cue from the stripped-down Once, which I thought was a refreshing and brilliant modern musical. I just think Jesus Christ Superstar should remain a bombastic rock opera, not a shy, awkward indie pop opera… don’t you?