There aren’t a lot of big laughs in the only mildly funny The Tall Guy (1989) starring Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson. Some of the biggest ones come when the film spoofs what was then a new trend of turning unlikely books and plays and ideas into musical productions. In The Tall Guy, we’re faced with what at the time seemed an unlikely concept: Elephant Man: The Musical. It was so ridiculous, it could almost not be thought about.
We have, of course, come a long way in 18 years. So far, in fact, that we can read an announcement that Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel American Psycho is slated for musical treatment and regard it with only widened eyes, not open-mouthed shock. From The New York Times:
He sings, he dances, he commits horrific acts of torture, murder and cannibalism: Patrick Bateman, the disturbed protagonist of “American Psycho,” is slated to slice his way onto Broadway in a musical adaptation of the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis novel, Variety reported. Rights for a musical version of “American Psycho,” about a 1980s-era investment banker turned serial killer with an abiding affection for the music of Phil Collins, were acquired by the Johnson-Roessler Company; the Collective, a management and production firm; and XYZ Films.
The book has, of course, already been reimagined for visual media. You’ll recall a very good-though-disturbing film in 2000 starring Christian “Bat-Dude” Bale. Though the film version was notably devoid of singing.
Let’s think about this, if we dare: Can a warbling Dexter or honestly operatic Hannibal really be so very far behind?
Tip of the hat to GalleyCat.