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'It's a Wonderful Life' coming to Broadway? Paul McCartney is writing new musical

Paul McCartney has reportedly been working on writing a new “It’s a Wonderful Life” musical.

Donna Reed, left, James Stewart and young Karolyn Grimes in the 1946 original, "It's a Wonderful Life."
Donna Reed, left, James Stewart and young Karolyn Grimes in the 1946 original, "It's a Wonderful Life."
Paramount Pictures

SALT LAKE CITY — Every time a bell rings, a reboot gets made (or so it would seem).

What’s going on: Paul McCartney has reportedly been working on writing a new “It’s a Wonderful Life” stage musical. He’s already written the song score for the musical adaptation of the 1946 film, Varietyreports.

McCartney, who just ended his most recent tour, has been working with “Rocketman” screenplay writer Lee Hall and British producer Bill Kenwright on a “It’s a Wonderful Life” musical, according to the Associated Press.

  • McCartney: “Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me,” said McCartney in a statement obtained by the Associated Press. “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: “‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is my favorite film. It has absolutely everything comedy, pathos and a rare humanity which has touched generation after generation,” he said, according to Rolling Stone. “Yet it just couldn’t be more relevant. To give it a life on the stage is an immense privilege in itself but to do with Paul McCartney is off the scale. Paul’s wit, emotional honesty and melodic brilliance brings a whole new depth and breadth to the classic tale. I feel as if an angel must be looking after me.”
  • Kenwright: “Working with Paul on 'It’s a Wonderful Life' is a dream realized,” he said, according to Rolling Stone. “To be honest I was hooked on first hearing him say ‘one/two/three/four’ on the demo of the opening number! But since then it’s been an extraordinary journey — on every song I experience Paul’s unique gift of melody and composition. It’s musical theatre — but it’s always McCartney. Paul, Lee, and I use the word ‘cherish’ when we refer to our source material and that’s what we intend to do. Cherish Frank Capra’s creation.”

What we know so far: “On a recent trip to London, I got to listen to McCartney’s stunning demo tracks,” Johnny Oleksinski wrote in an article for the New York Post. “The songwriter segues easily into the musical theater style, while still giving his diehard fans that soulful McCartney sound. Every time a Beatle sings, an angel gets his wings. … On the CD, the singer performs every role from George Bailey to Mr. Potter and even tries his hand at acting. The more than 10 finished songs sound like a bona fide lost Beatles album, with one spectacular number’s rousing ending bringing to mind the ‘Na Na Na Na Na’s' of ‘Hey Jude.’”

Launch date: The producers hope to launch the play in late 2020. It will open in the U.K. first and later open on Broadway, according to Variety.