Is there no queer/queer-adjacent entertainment that Ryan Murphy doesn’t have his hands in? His recent Broadway revival of “The Boys in the Band” just won a Tony. The Paris is Burning-inspired ball culture series “Pose” is deep into season 2. “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” won armloads of Emmys. Now, he’s lined up a stellar cast for another LGBTQ+-themed project, a film adaptation of the Broadway musical, “The Prom.”
Not yet a year into his expensive five-year deal with Netflix, Ryan Murphy is about to deliver his biggest get for the streamer. Deadline hears he 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’s star-studded cast came together quickly this spring. All were the director’s first choices, and each said yes quickly after seeing the Tony-nominated musical with its themes of inclusion and tolerance.