death becomes her

‘Death Becomes Her’ Is Coming to the Stage as a Musical Starring Kristin Chenoweth

If you think you heard a loud gay gasp heard around the world, you did. Universal Theatrical Group is developing a new musical comedy adaptation of Robert Zemeckis’ 1992 film Death Becomes Her.

Written by Martin Donovan and David Koepp, the film Death Becomes Her starred Meryl Streep as Madeline Ashton, a woman who gets her hands on an immortality potion and tries to outdo her longtime rival, played by Goldie Hawn.

Kristin Chenoweth has been announced to play the role of Ashton. No word yet on who may play Hawn. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they gave the role to Idina Menzel, reuniting the two Wicked stars?

The film has become a queer cult classic. Vanity Fair interviewed the Donovan and Koepp about the queer fandom of the film.

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But when asked why Death Becomes Her appeals so much to the queer community, both are at a loss.

“You really can’t underestimate the entertainment value of two women swinging shovels at each other,” Koepp offered. “I could invent some excuse,” Donovan said. “But deep down in my heart I don’t know.” He mused that the gay community is often attracted to tales of “struggle” and resilience — about people who are “never giving up, even if it’s a mess.”

“I think it’s a combination of it being a strong female character who you love how evil she is, you know?” Hoffer said. “I don’t know why that is a trait that appeals to queer people so much, but it’s pretty consistent amongst the queer community. I think it has something to do with feeling like outcasts and imagining yourself in this position of power where, even though you’re the outcast, you still have some kind of power and strength within you.”