Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Rob Reiner Planning To Direct Film Version Of Broadway Musical 'Next To Normal'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 3, 2010 at 2:37AM

One day, this writer is going to pen the definitive book on the career of Rob Reiner, a tome that'll be called something along the lines of "What The Fuck Happened?" Reiner started out as a sitcom star in the 1970s on "All in the Family," before switching tracks and becoming, like his father Carl, a director, in the early 1980s. And few directors can match the run of films that Reiner turned out in that decade, with six back-to-back classics in "This is Spinal Tap," "The Sure Thing," "Stand By Me," "The Princess Bride," "When Harry Met Sally" and "Misery."
1

One day, this writer is going to pen the definitive book on the career of Rob Reiner, a tome that'll be called something along the lines of "What The Fuck Happened?" Reiner started out as a sitcom star in the 1970s on "All in the Family," before switching tracks and becoming, like his father Carl, a director, in the early 1980s. And few directors can match the run of films that Reiner turned out in that decade, with six back-to-back classics in "This is Spinal Tap," "The Sure Thing," "Stand By Me," "The Princess Bride," "When Harry Met Sally" and "Misery."

Since then, there were two enjoyable collaborations with Aaron Sorkin, "A Few Good Men" and "The American President," but otherwise everything since the early 90s have been flat-out disasters, with the likes of "North," "The Story Of Us," "Alex & Emma," "Rumor Has It" and "The Bucket List" stinking up cinemas on their release, and with the exception of the latter, not making a ton of money either.

It's a truly baffling, fascinating career, one that we'll never truly understand. This summer's "Flipped" was thought to be something of a return to form, but the box office receipts suggested that more people worked on the movie than saw it in theaters, and we never caught up with it. Nevertheless, Reiner, undaunted, is talking up a project that he hopes will be his next film, and it's certainly an ambitious one.

Playbill reports (via a tipoff from Shadow And Act -- thanks, guys!) that in a recent interview with Peter Bart -- the exact provenance is slightly unclear -- Reiner revealed that "The picture that I would love to make, that I'm dying to make... I've been lobbying for this since it went on Broadway. There's a play on Broadway, just recently won a Pulitzer Prize and won a couple of Tonys, called "Next to Normal.""

The show, a rock musical by Brian Yorker and Tom Kitt, opened off-Broadway in 2008, before transferring to Broadway in 2009, picking up, as Reiner suggests, eleven Tony nominations and, somewhat controversially, the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the first musical to win since "Rent." Unusually for a Broadway show, the story's pretty dark, revolving around a suburban mother with bipolar disorder. The New York production's set to close after a hugely successful two year run on January 16th, but a touring version is currently working its way around the country, currently based in LA.

Musicals are seen as one of the great challenges for filmmakers, and it's a rare director who doesn't want to tackle one at some stage -- Reiner told Bart that "It is a completely and utterly unique project and I've been dying to make a musical. It's done brilliantly and it's very uplifting." If this was the Rob Reiner of 1990, coming off a touching coming-of-age drama, a thrilling family film, one of the all-time great romantic comedies and an intense drama, we'd be thrilled, even being unfamiliar with the source material, but we have less faith in the Rob Reiner of 2010.

Having said that, if "Flipped" truly was a return to form, hopefully he'll continue to get his mojo back on this, or whatever comes next. It all sounds pretty early yet, with no indication that Reiner even has the rights to the project, but he seems to be keen on making it, so we're sure more news will follow in time.

This article is related to: Broadway Musicals, Rob Reiner, Next To Normal


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates