Musical movie adaptations coming in 2021

Naomi Gordon
·5-min read
Photo credit: 20th Century Studios
Photo credit: 20th Century Studios

From Good Housekeeping

More reasons to be cheerful in 2021: As we're officially navigating the roadmap out of lockdown, we're hoping to see cinemas reopening on 17 May, which will coincide with all of the joyous and life-affirming musical film adaptations on their way to the big screen.

Serving as the perfect tonic and dollop of escapism amidst the ongoing pandemic, film versions of beloved musicals such as West Side Story, Dear Evan Hansen and Everybody's Talking About Jamie will be arriving in cinemas - and streaming platforms - from the summer.

Here are the musical exciting adaptations being released this year...

In the Heights

Photo credit: Warner Bros
Photo credit: Warner Bros

Lin-Manuel Miranda's eagerly-anticipated musical In the Heights, which came before Hamilton, and earned Miranda his first Tony for Best Original Score, will finally be coming to cinemas in June.

The drama follows a bodega owner in New York's vibrant heights neighbourhood who develops mixed feelings about closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother's fortune.

The cast includes Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Modern Family), Anthony Ramos (Hamilton, A Star is Born) and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

In the Heights will be released in UK cinemas on 21 June.

West Side Story

Photo credit: 20th Century Studios
Photo credit: 20th Century Studios

Steven Spielberg's big budget adaptation of West Side Story follows the well-trodden story of rival-gang teenagers Tony and Maria, who fall in love with each other - despite their families being at war.

Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver, The Goldfinch) plays Tony, while Maria is played by up and coming star Rachel Zegler. The cast also includes Rita Moreno, who featured in the original 1961 film, Corey Stoll (House of Cards, Ratched) and dancer Maddie Ziegler.

West Side Story was delayed due to Covid and is expected to arrive in December this year.


Photo credit: Rich Fury - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rich Fury - Getty Images

Adam Driver and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard star in Annette, which tells the story of a stand-up comedian and his opera singer wife whose two-year-old daughter has a surprising gift.

Set in Los Angeles, Annette will be acclaimed director Leos Carx's (Holy Motors) first feature film in the English language, and will include original music from the 1970s rock band Sparks. Both Driver, Oscar nominated for Marriage Story last year, and Cotillard - who won an Academy Award for her role as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose in 2007 - will do all their own singing in the musical.

Anette is expected to be released later this year.


Photo credit: Santiago Felipe - Getty Images
Photo credit: Santiago Felipe - Getty Images

Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Billy Porter (Pose) will play the Fairy Godmother in this modern reworking of Disney's 1951 classic animation.

Pop star Camilla Cabo will play Cinderella, Frozen's Idina Menzel will play the Stepmother, Minnie Driver stars a Queen Beatrice, and James Corden will star as Footman/mouse.

Pitch Perfect producer Kay Cannon has written the screenplay and directs.

Cinderella is expected to be released later this year.

Dear Evan Hansen

Photo credit: Emma McIntyre - Getty Images
Photo credit: Emma McIntyre - Getty Images

Adapted for the big screen from the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical, the story follows the titular Evan Hansen, a high school student suffering from anxiety, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance following the suicide of a fellow classmate.

Ben Platt (The Politician) will be reprising his stage role as Evan, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Actor, and Julianne Moore will play his mother Heidi Hansen. Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable, Booksmart) stars as Zoe Murphy, and Amy Adams will play Cynthia Murphy.

Dear Evan Hansen is expected to be released in September 2021.

Tick, Tick... Boom!

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tick, Tick... Boom! follows Andrew Garfield as Jon, an ambitious theatre composer who is waiting tables in New York City while writing Superbia - which he hopes will be the next great American musical and finally give him his big break.

Vanessa Hudgens and The West Wing's Bradley Whitford also star in the film, based on the novel by Jonathan Larson.

Tick, Tick... Boom! will launch on Netflix later this year.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Photo credit: Fox
Photo credit: Fox

Rising star Max Harwood takes on the titular role in the anticipated film version of the much-loved musical about talented teenager Jamie from Sheffield, who dreams of becoming a drag queen.

Richard E Grant plays Hugo Battersby, Catastrophe's Sharon Horgan is Miss Hedge, Happy Valley's Sarah Lancashire plays Margaret New, and Dinner Ladies star Shobna Gulati is Ray.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is released later this year.


Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

Emma Thompson stars as the notorious Miss Trunchball in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda. Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel, No Time to Die) will play Miss Honey, while Irish actress Alisha Weir will take the title role.

Matilda is expected to launch on Netflix laster this year.

The Little Mermaid

Photo credit: Slaven Vlasic - Getty Images
Photo credit: Slaven Vlasic - Getty Images

Grown-ish star Halle Bailey will take the lead as Ariel in the film adaptation of the of the 1986 Disney classic, starring alongside award-winning Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians, Nora From Queens), Melissa McCarthy, Oscar-winner Javier Bardem and The Undoing's Noma Dumezweni. English-American actor Jonah Hauer-King will play Prince Eric, following reports that Harry Styles turned down the role.

Rob Marshall, best known for Chicago, is directing.

The Little Mermaid will be released in 2021.

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