'Hustlers' Director Says She's Looking to Bring Film to Musical Stage

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday January 7, 2020

Lorene Scafaria, the director behind the hit Jo-Lo vehicle "Hustlers," told Variety that she's looking to transform her movie into a Broadway stage musical.

The 41-year-old filmmaker wrote and directed the comedy, which is based on a story reported in New York Magazine. The film has been a commercial and critical hit, raking in over $100 million and scoring love from reviewers... though not so much from groups that present awards in the run-up to the Oscars. That includes the Golden Globes, which left Scafaria off the noms for Best Director, Entertainment Weekly noted.

But success is a reward of its own, and sometimes it takes the form of a property morphing from one form of presentation, such as cinema - to another, such as theater.

The revelation was part of Scafaria's comments from the red carpet as she was headed into the Golden Globe's ceremony on Jan. 5, reports Entertainment Weekly.

Scafaria regaled the publication with the tale of how she had told the cast of the film (which also starts Lizzo, Cardi B, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, and Keke Palmer), "I said it to them a few months ago that I thought it would be a good idea, that's all. Who knows."

Added Scafaria, "I'm trying to develop it for the stage!"

If the director's ambitions succeed, the transition could be a profitable one. In recent years, a number of beloved films have made the jump from screen to stage - and some of them have even jumped back to the screen again, as happened when the 1967 Mel Brooks movie "The Producers" was well-received on Broadway and then was remade as a 2005 musical film with Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane.

John Waters' "Hairspray" saw similar success when the 1988 film was transformed into a stage musical, only to then be reincarnated as a 2007 film starring John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron, and a bevy of other stars.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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