Somebody break out the Abba records. “Making Muriel,” a documentary following director P.J. Hogan as he adapts his beloved cult film “Muriel’s Wedding” into a musical, is headed our way. Screen Australia reports that Nel Minchin has signed on to direct and produce the project.
The 1994 film “Muriel’s Wedding” follows Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette), an eternal optimist whose two main passions are Abba and weddings. The only problem? Muriel is much more interested in getting married than she is in actual marriage. But her priorities begin to change when she meets the outgoing, sex positive Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths).
Minchin’s “Making Muriel” will “examine the enduring popularity of ‘Muriel’s Wedding,’ the origins of the story and characters, and how — 23 years after becoming a surprise box office hit — the uniquely Australian female protagonist Muriel Heslop will be reinterpreted for the stage,” the source writes.
Hogan wrote the book for “Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical.” The stage production will feature original music and lyrics from Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttal as well the classic Abba songs that anchored the film. Simon Phillips (“Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical”) is directing.
“Making Muriel” will feature archival footage and interviews with Hogan, the film’s producers Jocelyn Moorhouse (“The Dressmaker”) and Lynda House (“Ned Kelly”), and the musical cast. Additionally, it will depict the “full creative process” of making the musical up until its world premiere in Sydney this November.
ABC and Screen Australia are funding “Making Muriel.” “Hitting Home” collaborators Ivan O’Mahoney and Nial Fulton will produce and exec produce, respectively. ABC plans to air the doc in late 2017.
“‘Muriel’s Wedding’ is a quintessentially Australian story that launched the careers of Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, P.J. Hogan, and Jocelyn Moorhouse, and gifted us with countless one-liners that have become embedded in our cultural lexicon,” Liz Stevens, Senior Manager Documentary at Screen Australia, said in a statement. “Supporting Nel Minchin to make her solo-directing debut was a no-brainer for us and we know audiences will cherish the opportunity to reconnect with this classic story all over again.”
Minchin previously helmed “Matilda & Me” with Rhian Skirving. The 2016 doc follows lyricist Tim Minchin during rehearsals for “Matilda: The Musical.”
Doc About “Muriel’s Wedding” Musical in the Works from Nel Minchin was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.