“There’s Something About Mary” is going to gross out Broadway — as a musical.
The smash 1998 movie is being transformed for the stage, says Peter Farrelly, who co-wrote and co-directed the film with his brother Bobby — and the process is well underway, with characters being developed and songs composed.
“We’ve already started working on it with a couple of really interesting people,” says Farrelly. “We have some amazing musicians who are getting involved, and we have a great story.”
He cautions, though, that it will be two or three years before the curtain rises on the production.
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“It’s a long process to make a Broadway musical,” said Farrelly, who spoke at the Los Angeles launch of the AT&T series Mr. Mercedes, based on the book by Stephen King.
“It’s not like making a movie, which you could do in a year, a year and a half,” he said.
“Like the movie, which starred Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, and Matt Dillon — and grossed $ 360 million worldwide — the stage version will focus on the lovestruck, hapless Ted Stroehmann (played by Stiller in the movie) and his impassioned pursuit of his former high school crush Mary (played by Diaz). But it will build up other characters as well.
“It will be loyal to (the movie), but we’ll tell it in a different way, because you don’t want to just go see the exact same story,” Farrelly said. “You have to tell it from a different angle, and of course, because this is a musical, we’re going to be able to do a lot more.
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For instance, small characters will get bigger.
“Like, you can find out more about Tucker, who turns out to be Norm the pizza guy,” he said. “We wrote a song called ‘The Pizza Man From Pompano,’ about who he is. I think it really adds to the story. It’ll be fun.”
While it’ll be a while before any casting takes place, Farrelly says there’s one performer from the movie they’d like to have re-create his role for the musical — if they can afford him. “We’re hoping to get Brett Favre,” he says. “We have some ideas about that actually.”
With James Desborough