The Five Heartbeats / 20th Century Fox
It’s been over 25 years since Robert Townsend’s classic film, The Five Heartbeats, was released in 1991, quickly becoming a fan favorite. Now, the story about the trials and triumphs of a fictional soul music group may be heading to the Great White Way.
According to Deadline, Townsend is in talks with a producer to turn the movie into a Broadway musical. He’s working on the stage adaptation with In Living Color creator, Keenen Ivory Wayans, who co-wrote the original film script with Townsend.
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Townsend told the trade pub that the musical will “tell a similar story with music that people know from the movie, but there is a composer, Grammy-Award winner, a guy who has won some big awards who already said he will write an original song for us.”
The award-winning writer and director is currently promoting Making the Five Heartbeats, a documentary that chronicles the struggles he went through getting the film made at a time when Hollywood didn’t really know how to acquire, or market, projects for Black audiences.
The documentary is currently screening in New York and Los Angeles in order to qualify for the Academy Awards, and Townsend feels now is the perfect time to continue telling the story, and Broadway would be a perfect fit, especially given the recent popularity of Motown the Musical.
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