Netflix’s adaptation of The Prom, produced by Ryan Murphy, has cast Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman in leading roles. Based on an original concept by Jack Viertel, The Prom feature film adaptation serves as a reunion for Streep and Kidman, who currently star in HBO’s Big Little Lies. Murphy, the mastermind producer behind American Horror Story and Glee, continues to prove his worth to Netflix after leaving 20th Century Fox to partner with the streaming giant.
Musically composed by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, The Prom follows four Broadway actors - Dee Dee Allen, Angie Dickinson, Trent Oliver, and Barry Glickman - whose careers have become stale and mediocre. In an attempt to improve their image, the group of thespians decides to take up a cause to appear selfless. Discovering that a high school prom was canceled in Indiana after a girl named Emma wanted to bring her girlfriend, the Broadway eccentrics embark on a journey to Emma’s town to protest. Infused with powerful musical numbers, The Prom dives into issues such as bullying, identity, ageism, and LGBTQ rights. The musical comedy went on to earn seven Tony award nominations, and will now be brought to the small screen by some of Hollywood’s finest.
According to Deadline, Streep has been tapped to play Dee Dee, a two-time Tony-winning actress whose career was recently deflated by bad reviews. Streep will be joined by Kidman as veteran chorus girl Angie, Andrew Rannells as out-of-work actor Trent Oliver, James Corden as Barry Glickman, Ariana Grande as Emma’s girlfriend Alyssa, Awkwafina as publicist Ms. Sheldon, and Keegan-Michael Key as Principal Hawkins. Helmed by director and producer Murphy, the production is on the fast track and set to begin filming in December. As of this writing, The Prom is slated for a 2020 release. Currently, Murphy and his team are on a fervent nationwide search to find a suitable actress to play the show’s core character, Emma.
Last year, Murphy announced the adaptation of the musical at a special charity performance of The Prom in New York City. Marking his first film under his new deal with Netflix, The Prom is the fifth project officially announced for the partnership. The prolific television producer currently has three upcoming original series - The Politician, Ratched, and Hollywood - in the works. The Prom has a slate full of respected talent, with each powerhouse currently in the midst of numerous productions. Streep is set to star with Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, while, fresh off a new season of Big Little Lies with Streep, Kidman is currently filming David E. Kelley’s series, The Undoing. Meanwhile, Corden will display his singing chops alongside Jennifer Hudson and Idris Elba in the highly anticipated Cats movie musical.
Netflix continues to provide a home for A-listers who appear to be transitioning from the big screen to streaming services. Musicals such as Cats, Wicked, and West Side Story are predicted to be box office successes, though Murphy is banking on Netflix’s ability to rake in monumental views with original films. The Prom is a pivotal story for teens who struggle with sexuality and identity, and Murphy has cast the elite to ensure the uplifting musical can reach the masses. Murphy partnering with Netflix could lead to the streaming giant cornering the market for original movie musicals, and there's no doubt that Murphy and the seasoned team behind the adaption of The Prom will create a memorable hit for Netflix.