Paul McCartney is currently writing his first stage musical. He will be taking the classic 1946 Frank Capra film, It’s A Wonderful Life, from the screen to the stage.
Three years ago, the ex-Beatle first met Billy Elliot playwright, Lee Hall and West End producer, Bill Kenwright, who have both played an instrumental part in getting the musical off the ground.
Hall is writing the book and co-writing the lyrics with McCartney, while Kenwright is producing the musical.
“Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me,” McCartney said in a statement. “But Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun.
“‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is a universal story we can all relate to.”
Hall said that McCartney’s “wit, emotional honesty and melodic brilliance brings a whole new depth and breadth to the classic tale.”
Kenwright first attempted to get the stage rights to the show back when he was first starting out. He even asked Capra himself for the rights, and received a kind letter back saying “No”. Kenwright still has that letter to this day.
A few years back, he was offered the rights to the musical from Paramount, and immediately reached out to McCartney. In 2016, he gave him a formal offer to score the show.
In 2018, McCartney sent Kenwright the opening song.
“Our hero was a musical theatre writer!” Kenwright said.
Producers have said that they’re aiming to open the show sometime in late 2020.