The rumors have been circulating for years, sprung from various innuendos dropped by novelist Chuck Palahniuk and director David Fincher. But those guys weren’t serious about turning 1999’s Fight Club — that singularly disorienting head injury of a movie — into a Broadway musical à la Legally Blonde or Young Frankenstein. They were just kidding around, weren’t they? I’m really starting to worry after reading yet another news story this week in which both Palahniuk and Fincher seem to be on board with this idea. Why, why, why?!
Let me make something clear: I love Fincher’s Fight Club. It’s funny, gripping, thought-provoking — one of the past decade’s most essential pieces of pop culture, I’d say. But it’s also extremely dark, disturbing, and weird. It’s violent. It’s cynical. It’s a gigantic mindf—! How on earth could they adapt this for the tourist-heavy audiences that lap up these blockbuster movies-turned-musicals? That MTV News story mentions the possibility that Trent Reznor might write the songs, which soundssorta cool, but that would probably make it even less appealing toGreat White Way crowds. And even if the producers did somehow transform Fight Club into something that the mainstream would find palatable — some goofy, “offbeat” garbage — I’m reasonably sure that I would start crying harder than Edward Norton’s character at a support group.
Look, I’m willing to see how this thing works out, if it actually happens. Who am I kidding? I’d be first in line trying to snag an opening-night ticket, if only so I could mercilessly mock the proceedings in a blog post the next morning. But I really, really hope it doesn’t come to that. (Now, a Broadway musical based on MTV2’s late-night, low-rent battle rap show Fight Klub — that’s a whole other story.) Am I missing something here?