Winona Ryder Fixed A Major Omission In ‘Heathers: The Musical’


HeathersSince its original release in 1988, the popularity of this comedy has grown exponentially. While the dark comedy isn’t one you immediately think would work as a musical, Heathers – The MusicalHe has been entertaining theater-goers for more than a decade. The eventual TV show adaptation wasn’t so fortunate.

‘Heathers’It Was Considered a Flop at The Box Office

Throughout the ’80s, John Hughes was the master of the high school flick. From Pretty in PinkTo Sixteen CandlesHughes was the first to define lighthearted teen comedy. Daniel Waters was commissioned to write the screenplay. Heathers, he wanted to directly contrast the optimistic vein that ran throughout Hughes’ most popular films. He asked: “What if Stanley Kubrick made a teen film?”

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His black comedy was about high school politics, teenage suicide, and was hilarious. It was a funny and nihilistic black comedy about high school politics and teenage suicide. Heathers has retrospectively been revered by critics for its vicious writing, biting social commentary, and impeccable acting, it wasn’t looked at so kindly upon its release. The R-rated film for teens was criticized by critics for its reliance on shock value and abandonment of moral delicacies to favor of bleak, cynicism.

It took years, but after the film’s VHS release, it slowly started to develop a cult following. Heathers It has been much more popular in its later years than when it was first released. With its timeless quotable dialogue, it carved out a niche in pop culture and was the inspiration for a stage musical as well as a sadly cancelled TV series.

Winona Ryder asked to be in the film

It turned out that casting was difficult for Daniel Waters. Word had gotten out about the film’s controversial subject matter, and parents of prospective teen actors didn’t want their children involved. Heather Chandler’s role was offered to Heather Graham, a young actress. However, her parents asked her not to accept it. However, the film’s dark themes didn’t bother 15-year-old Winona Ryder.

Filming fresh BeetlejuiceRyder was still relatively unknown. After reading the script, HeathersRyder was determined to play the role of Veronica Sawyer. Waters agreed to cast Ryder in the role, and even offered to let her act for free. Her agent was so against her taking the role, she got on her knees and begged Waters not to. She claimed it would end her career.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Ryder’s turn as Veronica Sawyer has been praised over the years as some of her best work. Ryder believes the exact same. Ryder still considers it one of her all-time favorite films. “I looove this movie—to the point where I talk about it like I’m not even in it,”Ryder was a gushing savant in 2014. “If it’s on TV, I watch it. I’ve probably seen it 50 times. Like, I can do it by heart.”

Christian Slater, her co-star on the show, approached his role of JD with similar care. He was so passionate about getting the role that he remembers throwing a “big tantrum”After the audition, he thought he had failed it. His castmates recalled him playing his reserved character during filming. Ryder and Ryder had an undeniable chemistry on-screen that led to a brief flirt after filming.

‘Heathers’Is The Stage Reborn

In the late ’00s, Andy Fickman was approached to direct the first ever stage adaptation of Heathers. As a longtime fan of the 1988 film, Fickman wanted to distill the film’s themes into a musical format while staying faithful to the source material. The play was first developed in Los Angeles by the production team. The play evolved slowly from small, intimate performances to private readings until it was finally presented at the Hudson Backstage Theatre. The play was then presented at New World Stages Off-Broadway the very next year.

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The play was generally well-received. Some reviewers criticized how the play candy-coated the film’s purposefully sour tone. However, the musical was a big hit with the audience. The musical was popular enough to warrant a stint on London’s West End. The musical was authorized to be performed in Australia and Brazil. A professionally filmed version was recently released by The Roku Channel to bring the musical to viewers at home.

Winona Ryder and Christian Slater approve

Andy Fickman Recently, it was revealed that Winona Ryder had actually seen the musical.. Evidently, Stranger ThingsStar went to Los Angeles with Daniel Waters, a writer. “At that point, Dan knew the show inside out. Afterward, Winona came up to all of us and she was so supportive, but she said we had cut a line from the movie that she loved, about patronizing bunny rabbits,”Fickman has recently spoken Collider.

Fickman did not direct a performance of The Wizard of Oz from that point. Heathers – The MusicalWithout the line “Kevin, Larry, and I looked at each other and we knew it was not in the script, so we promised her, at that moment, ‘Tomorrow, it’ll be in the show and it’ll never come out.’ That line is the most protected line in the show. It has never come out.”

Slater had the opportunity to see the musical. “Christian was such a lovely person, as well. In New York, we snuck him into the theater to see the show, and then he went on stage afterward and put on the trench coat,”Fickman has been recalled. “He was also nothing but supportive for all of it.”

The Other Life ‘Heathers’

It’s worth noting here that the film did inspire a heavily controversial TV show in 2018. The series was accused of mishandling the film’s subject matter. Due to the combination of the milder criticisms and the abominable timing that a series of school shootings had just happened in the United States, the series premieres were delayed multiple times. It finally dropped quietly on Paramount+ in 2018 and has not been discussed since.

Ignoring the misguided TV adaptation, it’s clear that Heathers Pop culture is a timeless part of our lives. Fortunately, Heathers – The Musical is a rare example of continuing a beloved film’s legacy without butchering it. New generations are able to experience Daniel Waters’ timeless dark comedy through the musical adaptation, now streaming on The Roku Channel.

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