Disney Icon Turning ’70s R-Rated Classic Into A Musical

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda

There are musicals for just about any story nowadays. A musical inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is about to debut on the West End in London, a musical adaptation of Back to the Future is currently making waves on Broadway in New York, and now, according to Variety, Broadway Baby and Disney icon Lin-Manuel Miranda is about to make the 1970s R-rated cult classic action film, The Warriors, into a musical, too.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is going to come out and play, turning The Warriors into a musical.

Renowned Broadway musical extraordinaire Lin-Manuel Miranda is set to take on another iconic project as he steps back from Disney animated films to bring grit and violence to the stage. The Warriors, a 1965 novel by Sol Yurick that was adapted into a movie directed by Walter Hill in 1979, revolves around a fictional New York City street gang forced to traverse the dangerous urban landscape from the Bronx back to their Coney Island territory after being falsely accused of the murder of a prominent gang leader. 

The film version of The Warriors was not a musical, though it was a box office smash, garnering $22 million at the box office with a $4 million budget and no pre-screenings or promotional campaigns.

However, when Yurick published his novel in 1965, he probably expected that it would one day be turned into a movie, but allowing the rights to be adapted into a Broadway musical spectacular was probably the furthest thing from his mind. However, Lin-Manuel Miranda is not starting from scratch since the original film did feature evocative songs contributed by Barry De Vorzon, Joe Walsh, and Arnold McCuller.

The Warriors was a hit at the box office, bringing in $22 million against a budget of $4 million, but coming back as a Lin-Manuel Miranda musical is not how anyone expected it to be revivied.

Lin-Manuel Miranda recently lent his lyrical finesse to the polish of the lyrics for the Kander and Ebb musical New York, New York, drawing inspiration from Martin Scorsese’s 1977 film. Born and raised in New York, Miranda is the perfect creative to enlist for such a musical as The Warriors, as much of his previous work has also taken place in the City That Never Sleeps.

The Warriors

Yet, Miranda’s groundbreaking work, Hamilton, undoubtedly solidified his status as a contemporary Broadway luminary. His illustrious portfolio encompasses other notable productions like the Tony Award-winning In the Heights, Bring It On: The Musical, and the Disney animated features Moana and Encanto.

Undoubtedly, as strange as it may seem, a gritty musical like The Warriors will surely be a showstopping sensation with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the team.

Initial reports regarding Lin-Manuel Miranda’s involvement in the project caused a stir of excitement among theater enthusiasts and sparked discussions about how the inventive creator will reimagine the gripping tale of The Warriors on the stage. With Miranda’s demonstrated flair for weaving compelling narratives and crafting unforgettable musical compositions, expectations are high for his transformation of this gritty street saga into an enthralling theatrical experience.

It sounds odd, but we have faith that Lin-Manuel Miranda can accomplish the impossible and turn The Warriors into a hit musical.

As the curtain rises on this latest endeavor, theatergoers and fans alike eagerly await further developments and announcements regarding casting, production dates, and the musical landscape that Lin-Manuel Miranda will ingeniously craft to breathe new life into the captivating world of The Warriors.

While The Warriors didn’t make it on the list of action movies we thought would make great musicals, in the hands of a visionary like Miranda, this adaptation promises to be an electrifying addition to his already illustrious body of work.