Broadway's biggest phenomenon in recent history, The Book of Mormon, started previews in Los Angeles last week, and the creators are talking about whether the Tony-award-winning play will truly go Hollywood and become a feature film.
Multi-hyphenates Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park, Team America: World Police), who created and wrote The Book of Mormon with Robert Lopez, have said in the past they are interested in doing a movie, but haven't made any firm commitments. They continued to toe that line Saturday night during an intimate Q&A following Mormon's performance at Hollywood's Pantages theater.
Trey Parker said, "We don't have any [movie plans]. You know, when we first started working on it seven years ago, we kind of toyed with the idea of it being a Broadway show, or being a movie. Obviously, since Matt and I knew how to make a movie, we were like, well let's just make a movie because we can do that pretty quickly, but we stuck with it and after we saw our first real workshops with an audience, we were like, 'Let's just make this a stage thing.'"
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Parker elaborated, "As we were doing scenes, of course I was just always kind of visualizing it as a movie just because that's what I do, so I don't think it would be a really difficult thing [to translate it to film], but ... it would be a pretty different animal when we were done with it. ... We don't talk about it too much right now or think about it, but it's very possible."
The pair also demurred on whether they'd translate Mormon's success to another stage show. Parker commented, "I don't know. These are hard!"
Stone chimed in, "We're used to, especially with South Park, we finish a show and send it off … and it goes on the air, and the next morning, honestly, half the time, the next morning I can't even tell you what that show's about. We're so good at wiping [the slate clean] and being done. A movie is the same thing. … A theater thing is just not like that, it needs to be taken care of."
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One thing is for sure – a movie version would have significant differences than the stage version, with Stone explaining, "Once we made the decision to definitely go to theater, we made a lot of decisions that really were best for the theater, so that's why it would really take a rethinking. … We wouldn't want to just do this on film, we would have to really re-think it."
And who would star in a movie version of the film? Parker suggested, seemingly jokingly, "Justin Bieber as Elder Price."
The Book of Mormon is currently on a nationwide tour, and will run in Los Angeles through November 25.