Paul McCartney will write the music and lyrics to the stage adaption to Frank Capra's legendary 1946 Christmas perennial, It's A Wonderful Life. The Guardian reported the show will pair McCartney with Lee Hall — best known as the author of Billy Elliot and screenwriter for the Elton John biopic Rocketman — who'll collaborate with McCartney on lyrics, and write the show’s book.
The project, which is set to open late next year, was spearheaded by Liverpudlian producer Bill Kenwright, who's best known in theater circles for such musicals as Blood Brothers, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and Heathers: The Musical.
The former-Beatle has already recorded demos of some of the musical's songs, with Kenwright revealing they “. . . exceeded expectations. The songs take you somewhere you don’t expect to go. They sound simple — but it’s deceptive. That’s Paul’s genius.”
Although McCartney has dabbled extensively in orchestral work and film themes, he's stayed far away from musicals after the disastrous 1984 big budget movie flop Give My Regards To Broadstreet nearly erased decades of good will from fans and critics. Shortly after the movie was universally panned, McCartney remained defensive as to why the film tanked, believing that it was due more to a critical bias than it simply being a lame, half-baked, ego-driven mess: “Well, I wrote the thing, which is the first cheeky step. But you do. . . When you do stuff like that, you just do it out of the art of it. You just do it for the fun of it. Y'know, you don't do a painting, or write a song to be criticized later — you don't think of that. You just do it, y'know, it's the spur of the moment, you do it, you get it all together. So, having written it, I think I was always going to walk into a wall of criticism, because most of the people who are criticizing me are writers.”