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Mars Attacks! Will Be Made Into a Broadway Musical, Also, Did We Ask For This?

Thank You?

John Layman (Chew) has decided to bring Tim Burton‘s Mars Attacks! to Broadway. Because … we don’t know. Nope, no idea. When the movie came out in 1996, very few people actually liked it, so our guess is that Layman wants this to become the next cult musical hit. Well … okay. Ack ack ack it is, then. Maybe I’ll change my mind about this by the end of the post.

The movie, which had an all-star cast that included Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson, Annette Bening, Martin Short, and Glenn Close among others (and by “others,” I mean Joe Don Baker of Mitchell/MST3K fame … and other things, like James Bond movies), was based on a line of Topps trading cards and was fully meant to be campy, corny, and not taken seriously. But maybe Burton overestimated his audience, because it ended up a box office disappointment. I remember thinking it was “bad” when I saw it in theaters, but maybe it deserves a rewatch. Why? Because I never considered it as a cult stage musical on par with Little Shop of Horrors or Reefer Madness. And now I am, and I might like this idea after all.

The cards are actually celebrating their 50th anniversary soon, and the musical, which will be produced by Topps and IDW Publishing, is meant to be a tie-in. Mars Attacks: 21st Century Slaughter will be written by Layman, and he has very big plans for it:

My approach to MARS ATTACKS on stage is sort of a science fiction version of West Side Story: a human and a Martian involved in a star-crossed romance, set against the backdrop of a violent interstellar war–with all of humanity caught in between! It’s going to be a rollicking good time, with songs that will make you want to get up and dance!

I don’t know about everyone else, but I have never once watched a movie in a movie theater that made me want to get up and dance. Get up and stretch, maybe. There’s just not enough leg room for dancing. But Layman seems excited about this, and I will not sit here and rain on his parade. Especially if one of those love songs — as Topless Robot suggests — consists of nothing but the words “ack ack ack,” but sung beautifully. With heart.

The cards, known for their depictions of futuristic war, torture, and mass slaughter, will also get a re-issue for the anniversary. They were first released in 1962 and were a hit with the kids, until their parents got a look at what was actually on the cards. As a result, production on the cards was promptly halted and the surviving cards became collectors’ items.

See? It’s just like Reefer Madness! And now I’m excited.

(via Topless Robot)

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