Nine 90s films that would make great West End musicals

As we prepare for both Mrs Doubtfire and Groundhog Day, we ponder which other 90s comedies might make great musicals

The 90s are back, in case you hadn’t heard. And even the West End hasn’t escaped the decade’s all-pervading influence, with musicals of Mrs Doubtfire and Groundhog Day incoming and Hocus Pocus in the works. As the 90s are providing such fertile inspiration for new West End shows, we decided to go back through our old VHS tapes and DVDs and see what other films might be primed for stage translations.


Wes Anderson’s charming second film has its protagonist recreate Scarface and Serpico as increasingly ambitious school plays, so the possibility for productions within productions is too much to resist. Imagine seeing a musical Scarface within a musical Rushmore?!

Suggested song titles: Forget original songs, if this doesn’t end with the whole cast singing ‘Ooh La La’ by The Faces, then we’re going to revolt.

Rushmore (1998) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers


Bowling, dismemberment, reclusive technophobic religions… all the classic elements for a big glitzy musical. Really, this seems tailor made to get Trey Parker and Matt Stone (aka The Book Of Mormon and South Park guys) adapting the Farrelly Brothers, which would be a perfect storm of 90s bad taste.

Suggested song titles:‘I Need A Hand’, ‘(Comb)Over The Hill’, ‘We Only Have A Bull’

Kingpin Official Trailer #1 - Randy Quaid Movie (1996) HD

Tin Cup

Underdog sporting stories are the best stories. That’s an indisputable fact. Add in a bit of romance and a tempestuous Kevin Costner character and you can’t miss. Also willing to consider Bull Durham as an 80s alternative.

Suggested song titles: ‘Putting Me First’, ‘Driving Me Crazy’, ‘Life In The Rough’, ‘Chip On My Shoulder’ (you see where this is going…)

Tin Cup - Original Theatrical Trailer

Mars Attacks

Tim Burton and musicals are a match made in quirky gothic heaven. Beetlejuice is currently touring the US, while Burton has directed two beloved original musical films himself (The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride) as well as adapting Sondheim’s Sweeny Todd for the big screen. Mars Attacks has the potential to mix War Of The Worlds scale with some dayglo lunacy and Tom Jones as Tom Jones. Sold.

Suggested song titles: ‘Ack Ack Ack, I Want You Back’, ‘Jonesing For Jones’

Mars Attacks! (1996) Official Trailer #1 - Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan Sci-Fi Comedy


A bit of Life Of Pi/Lion King puppetry magic and this could be a big-time spectacular. Of all the suggestions on this list, this one feels the most like it’s got legs. Lots and lots of legs.

Suggested song titles: ‘Gimme Five (Or Eight)’, ‘No You Peli-can’t’, ‘Alan, Not Of This Parish’

Jumanji (1995) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Everyone Says I Love You

Woody Allen’s romcom is already a musical, which makes life even easier for the creative team. It’s also a gigantic ensemble piece, starring Goldie Hawn, Alan Alda, Drew Barrymore, Ed Norton and Natalie Portman. The possibilities are endless.

Suggested song titles: The existing soundtrack is perfect, but please, please, please keep the cast’s charmingly shonky singing. No professional belters allowed.

Everyone Says I Love You: Official Trailer (1996) | Julia Roberts, Woody Allen, Edward Norton


Look, you can argue all you want, the fact of the matter is that Swingers is the greatest film of the 90s. It’s so money (and quotable) and the soundtrack just swings. It might seem like there was a collective momentary madness around 1996 that resulted in everyone wearing Cuban collars and listening to Cherry Poppin’ Daddies… until you watch Swingers, and then it all makes sense. If I ever win millions in Vegas, I’m making this musical.

Suggested song titles: ‘Lorraine, Like The Quiche’, ‘You’re So Money Baby (And You Don’t Even Know It)’

Swingers | Official Trailer (HD) - Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Heather Graham | MIRAMAX

Drop Dead Gorgeous

It’s endlessly baffling how few people have seen Drop Dead Gorgeous. It’s one of the greatest black comedies of all time and a mockumentary to rival even the best examples of the form. If Heathers can work as a musical, there’s no reason why murderous beauty queens in Minnesota wouldn’t work just as well.

Suggested song titles: ‘The Burning Swan’ has so many possibilities, but the real showstopper would be recreating the moment where Denise Richards sings ‘You’re Just Too Good To Be True’ to an inflatable Jesus.

Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Galaxy Quest

Ok, you can quibble over Swingers, but only if you’re doing so on behalf of Galaxy Quest. Deeply silly and weird, but also oddly moving, it’s a sci-fi spoof about aliens mistaking actors for real space adventurers, a la Star Trek. Sadly Alan Rickman is no longer with us, but there’s always the possibility of roping Sam Rockwell in to reprise his scene-stealing role. That man can dance!

Suggested song titles: ‘By Grabthar’s Hammer’, ‘I’m Just A Glorified Extra’

Galaxy Quest (1999) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Mrs Doubtfire and Groundhog Day both open in May 2023 and are booking now