NEW YORK — Former Beatles Paul McCartney is working on a stage adaptation of the 1946 film It’s A Wonderful Life, which will be the first musical of his long and storied career.
One of the most iconic films in history, Frank Capra’s masterpiece will be given the musical treatment by McCartney, producer Bill Kenwright and playwright Lee Hall, according to a statement on McCartney’s website published Thursday.
Kenwright acquired the rights to It’s A Wonderful Life three years ago, and contacted McCartney about working together on the project, which is set to launch in late 2020.
“Like many of these things this all started with an email,” said McCartney.
“Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun.”
Kenwright, best known for the West End hit “Blood Brothers” and the touring production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” said that working with McCartney is a dream come true.
“To be honest I was hooked on first hearing him say “one/two/three/four” on the demo of the opening number!” he said.
“But since then it’s been an extraordinary journey – on every song I experience Paul’s unique gift of melody and composition. It’s musical theatre — but it’s always McCartney.”
For his part, Hall revealed that It’s A Wonderful Life is his favorite film.
“To give it a life on the stage is an immense privilege in itself but to do with Paul McCartney is off the scale,” the Tony Award winner said.
“Paul’s wit, emotional honesty and melodic brilliance brings a whole new depth and breadth to the classic tale. I feel as if an angel must be looking after me.”
Earlier in July McCartney played a gig in Los Angeles during which he invited former bandmate Ringo Starr onto the stage.
The pair played two of the Beatles classics, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” and “Helter Skelter.”