Ryan Murphy can't be stopped, but when he's casting people like Ariana Grande and Meryl Streep in movies, why would you want to? Deadline reports that as part of the American Horror Story creator's five-year deal with Netflix, he'll be directing and producing a feature adaption of The Prom, a Tony-nominated musical about two Broadway legends who try to revive their careers by publicly supporting an Indiana high-school senior who isn't allowed to take her girlfriend to prom.
Murphy's adaptation, called just Prom, already has some big names behind it. Streep will play the main role of Dee Dee Allen, opposite James Corden as Barry Glickman. When the two characters' latest musical about Eleanor Roosevelt gets panned, they team up with Nicole Kidman and Andrew Rannells' characters to support the still-to-be-cast high school senior, Emma, in hopes of salvaging their image.
As for Grande, she'll be playing Alyssa, the popular girl in school. Grande will also be producing the soundtrack alongside Murphy and her manager, Scooter Braun. Awkwafina will play the publicist for the group, and Keegan-Michael Key will play the high school principal. Refinery29 has reached out to Netflix to confirm the musical's impressive casting but did not hear back.
While this cast sounds incredible in theory, fans of the original musical have a few bones to pick.
"uhhhhh. this is a weird move," New York Times writer Sopan Deb tweeted. "the roles were originally written specifically for the quartet that played the roles (beth leavel, chris seiber etc). they essentially play caricatures of themselves. why give their parts away?"
There's also the fact that this is a queer story, but the cast appears to be mostly straight, which has fans worried it's more focused on star power than actual content.
i have anger. alyssa greene is a LESBIAN! EMMA NOLAN IS A LESBIAN! please cast actual lgbt people to play these parts. she’s gonna ruin this i’m gonna sue— revive the prom (@gaymianhubbard) June 25, 2019
"i have anger," one fan wrote. "alyssa greene is a LESBIAN! EMMA NOLAN IS A LESBIAN! please cast actual lgbt people to play these parts. she’s gonna ruin this i’m gonna sue"
The message at the heart of the show should be the focus of The Prom, not what big huge stars they can get.— hades st. james ??? || good omens (@hayleystjames) June 25, 2019
I’m honestly really, really disappointed by the Prom movie casting news. They should have just filmed the Broadway production.
"The message at the heart of the show should be the focus of The Prom, not what big huge stars they can get," another said. "I’m honestly really, really disappointed by the Prom movie casting news. They should have just filmed the Broadway production."
The project is still in its very early stages, so there's ample time for Murphy to take note. Until then, you can familiarize yourself with the soundtrack below.