“We can’t think of a more fitting tribute": Prince’s Purple Rain film is to be resurrected as a stage musical

Prince in Purple Rain
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Prince's hugely-successful 1984 film Purple Rain is to become a stage musical. 

The stage adaptation will be based upon the original film screenplay by Albert Magnoli and William Blinn, and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, Variety reports. The original film, which documented the journey of aspiring, troubled Minneapolis musician 'The Kid' as he strived to become a star, spawned one of the best-selling soundtrack albums of all time, which topped the US charts for 24 consecutive weeks. The film took almost $100 million at the box office, and turned Prince, who'd already broken into the spotlight with his 1982 album, 1999, into a genuine global superstar.

“We can’t think of a more fitting tribute than to honor Prince and the ‘Purple Rain’ legacy with this stage adaptation of the beloved story,” says L. Londell McMillan, chairman of The NorthStar Group, and Larry Mestel, founder and CEO of Primary Wave Music in a statement. “We are thrilled with our Broadway partners and creative team, who are bringing a theatricality to the film’s original fictional story. We can’t wait for a new generation to discover ‘Purple Rain’ and for lovers of the original film and album to experience its power once again, this time live.”

Purple Rain, the soundtrack album, gave Prince two US number one singles in When Doves Cry and Let's Go Crazy, and two further Billboard top 10 singles with the title track and I Would Die 4 U. Prince won the The Academy Award for Best Original Score for the film, and also won two Grammys and two Brit Awards.

Variety reports that production details and timing will be announced in the coming months.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.