Jul 23
2020

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Murphy’s film The Prom – starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and James Corden – is starting up production again on Thursday at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. The movie, which had two days left of shooting when the pandemic forced an industry-wide shutdown, is slated to film for the next four days. Not all of the stars are expected to be on set, however, as some had already wrapped their parts. Murphy’s star-studded Broadway adaptation marks the second major project from the streamer to return to production in the U.S. this month, after Adam Sandler’s comedy movie Hubie Halloween went through with a day of pick-ups earlier in July. The production was said to go off without a hitch, though insiders note that the streamer was limited in what it could draw from the experience given the short duration of the shoot. Since The Prom plans to film for multiple consecutive days, sources say it’ll likely serve as a better test case for the company, which sources note has developed its own set of health and safety protocols. Says one insider, “Netflix is serious about the plan they put together and is using this as a test run for their other productions.” Given the fluid nature of the situation, some studios, including Warner Bros. and Universal’s TV arms, have pushed back their target shoots dates from August to September. Holding them back, say insiders, are continued negotiations with the guilds over aspects of the COVID protocols. Among the issues still being hashed out: the role of COVID-19 managers, the frequency and type of testing, 10-hour workday caps and sick day compensation (meaning whether or not crew members who fall ill to the virus still get paid).

May 01
2020

In a recent interview with Collider for his new Netflix limited series Hollywood, Murphy shared the latest status on this film, called The Prom. Thankfully, Murphy seems to have finished nearly all of his principal photography before the pandemic hit, especially with lead performers like Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, James Corden, Andrew Rannells, and others. Because of this, Murphy believes they can still hit their planned release window: “All of the leads had wrapped. The last scene that I shot was Nicole Kidman’s last scene. Meryl had finished and James Corden had finished, and Andrew Rannells and Nicole had all finished. The only thing that I had is I had two days of second unit pickup… I hope this summer I can go back and quickly pick them up… The movie was supposed to come out right around Christmas, was the plan. November, Thanksgiving, Christmas in that window. Hopefully, I’ll be able to still do that.” A Murphy-directed movie musical based on the hit Broadway musical about out-of-touch theater stars who flock to a small town to force their high school to allow a gay couple to attend prom, with this bonkers cast, sounds like the perfect holiday season pick-me-up, particularly after this dreadfully quarantined summer we’re all having. Murphy was immediately attracted to the progressive nature of the material, saying, “I love the message of it. I really related to the protagonist. Emma is from Indiana and is not allowed to go to her prom because she’s gay. And I’m from Indiana and I wasn’t allowed to take a man or a male compadre to my prom. I related to it, so I believed in the message.”

And for fans of The Prom wondering what tunes from the show made it? Murphy gave us this big update: We used all the songs and then we’ve written one new song for it, one new original piece for The Prom. That was really fun to work on and it’s a great ballad, and it’s really a moving song about acceptance and prejudice. I think a lot of people will love it. Yeah, we kept every song and we added one, which is a lot, but it’s fun, worth it. Like many other movie musicals, the team has added a new song to the roster of existing material — often a play at an Oscar for Best Original Song. It’s also surprising to hear they’re keeping every single song from the original show in — usually a few tunes get cut when stage musicals are turned into films (i.e. “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” somehow not making it into Sweeney Todd). This sounds like it’ll be quite the tune-filled affair — and here’s hoping the new song blends in with the rest well enough. As for how Murphy got this star-studded cast to sing these well-known (and one original) song? Well, all he had to do was ask: “I’ve never done this in my career, but I called up three people I’ve always wanted to work with, which was Meryl Streep and James Corden and Nicole Kidman. And I said, ‘I want to do this. I believe in it. I want to work with you. Do you want to do it?’ And all three of them went to see [the play] within that week, I think, and they all called and instantly said, ‘Yes, I will do it.’ The fact that I could get Meryl Streep to love it and be into it and believe in it as much as I did, I just couldn’t believe that I got Meryl Streep to say yes in a one week window.” Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

Mar 13
2020

As the world reels in reaction to the ever-expanding coronavirus and nations like Italy and Iran grind to a halt, The Prom is being called off, for now, according to Deadline. The Ryan Murphy helmed feature adaptation of the Tony-nominated stage musical has shut down production, I’ve learned. The move for the Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman-led Netflix film comes out of “an abundance of caution,” a source close to the movie says. “No one has the coronavirus, this is just being prudent with everything that is going on around the world,” another individual with knowledge of the situation stresses. Already in the process of loading out on the Paramount lot, The Prom was set to be wrapped in the next few days. However, an on-location shoot today at a local school proved the catalyst to halting a little early. Permits were pulled due to the school in question closing its doors altogether due to coronavirus worries that have seen a number of education institutions in and around L.A shutter. In terms of The Prom, the plan right now is for work to resume in mid-April, though that could depend on the way COVID-19 spreads in the coming weeks around the world and in L.A. This will also likely impact production on Impeachment, as Murphy was set to shift from the feature to the last installment of FX’s American Crime Story franchise.

Jun 25
2019

According to Deadline, Ryan Murphy will direct and produce the feature adaptation of the Tony-nominated stage musical “The Prom” and has secured a cast that puts Netflix in new starpower territory. Meryl Streep will star alongside James Corden, Nicole Kidman and Ariana Grande, with Awkwafina, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells playing key roles. Sources said Murphy will get underway directing the film adaptation of the Broadway hit in December, for a fall 2020 awards season release in theaters before it airs on the streamer. Murphy adds this to three series he is delivering — The Politicians, Ratched and Hollywood — with two yet to be announced documentaries and another movie stage adaptation coming. Latter is The Boys in the Band, directed by Joe Mantello with the recent Broadway 50th anniversary revival cast. That one begins shooting in July, fresh off its recent Tony win. In Prom, Streep will play Dee Dee Allen, a two-time Tony winner who teams with Corden’s Barry Glickman in a flop musical about Eleanor Roosevelt. After career-ending reviews, they decide – along with Broadway babies Kidman as Angie Dickinson and Rannells (Book of Mormon) as Trent Oliver – to champion a cause to rehabilitate their careers. They find one in Emma, a high school senior in Indiana who isn’t allowed to take her girlfriend to the prom. A nationwide search led by casting director Alexa Fogel is on to fill the role of Emma.Grande will star as Alyssa, a popular daughter of the head of the PTA. Awkwafina will play the group’s publicist Ms. Sheldon, and Key will play Streep’s love interest and Emma’s ally, Principal Hawkins. Murphy will produce with Alexis Woodall, Bill Damaschke, and Dori Berinstein. Script is by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, music and lyrics are by Beguelin and Matthew Sklar, based on the original concept by Jack Viertel.

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