Paul McCartney has confirmed that he is working on a musical stage adaptation of the classic film It’s A Wonderful Life. Based on Philip Van Doren Stern’s “The Greatest Gift,” the movie was directed and produced by Frank Capra and released in 1946. The project is McCartney’s first musical theatre work.
McCartney has partnered with British theatre and film impresario Bill Kenwright, who will produce the show. Kenwright originally approached McCartney three years ago after acquiring the rights to the film. Kenwright, like McCartney, was born and raised in Liverpool, and both attended the Liverpool Institute High School (now LIPA, the performing arts academy founded by McCartney).
In addition to writing the music for It’s a Wonderful Life, McCartney has been working on the lyrics with the Tony Award-winning English screenwriter and playwright Lee Hall, who is also responsible for the book of the musical.
McCartney was in the middle of releasing album Egypt Station in September 2018 as well as launching a global tour to support the album release, but in between touring and album commitments he found time to work with Lee Hall on more songs.
Having just completed the U.S. leg of his current Freshen Up world tour in front of a sell-out audience at Los Angeles Dodger Stadium last weekend, McCartney is still in the final stages of completing songs for It’s a Wonderful Life, which is set to launch in late 2020.
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