Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 17, 2011

Is 1977’s Annie Musical The Most Successful Comics Adaptation?


Green Lantern at the multiplex and some pre-CCI panel arrangements have me wondering: could the Broadway musical Annie be the most successful adaptation of a comic? I know it's hard to argue with that fat $1 billion-plus from Dark Knight (not to mention that culturally-piercing, award-winning Heath Ledger performance), but Annie has a well-rounded resume:

* 2000+ performances in its original run (blockbuster status)
* 11 Tony nominations and seven wins, including the big three of book, score and musical
* multiple road companies initially and countless performances nationally and internationally since
* big-time remounts on Broadway and in the West End
* forthcoming 35th anniversary remount
* a movie adaptation of its adaptation (Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks)
* a second movie adaptation of its adaptation (Victor Garber as Daddy Warbucks)
* a third movie adaptation of its adaptation in the works (Will Smith as executive producer)
* two shots at a sequel (neither of which was apparently any good, but they don't try twice unless you're a juggernaut)
* two enduring pop songs, "Tomorrow" and "(It's A) Hard-Knock Life"

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