Ragtime - The musical movie
"What a lovely movie it all makes!!!" ~ Tateh
A sweeping musical portrait of early-twentieth-century America tells the story of three families in the pursuit of the American Dream.
Ragtime is a project beloved across the globe; originating as a lauded novel in 1975 from E.L. Doctorow (TIME Magazine top 100), being adapted in 1981 into a 8x Oscar nominated film (not a musical) and premiering on Broadway as a musical in 1998 becoming a 12x Tony nominee and 4x Tony winner. The enveloping music, heart wrenching story, proven track record, extremely marketable demographics and a relevant, pertinent political commentary would make for a wonderful movie adaptation of the musical play!
I'm proposing that we put together a team to adapt this wonderful project into a musical film that would be destined for further glory.
The musical play has been produced hundreds of times in high-schools, colleges, tours and theaters across the country and world.
With the story focusing on the black, white and immigrant communities, the marketing campaign would be able to reach many corners of the country and world!
Pre-visualized movie scene "Sarah Brown Eyes"
At the dawn of the 20th century, everything is changing... and anything is possible. Set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-century New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together – that of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician – united by their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair... and what it means to live in America.
Women and Men, 18-35
Black, White and Immigrant (Jewish focus) communities
Music and musical lovers
MOVIE PRODUCTION BUDGET RANGE
Mother - The consummate wife and mother. A kind woman with incredible moral fiber and the epitome of elegance and social conditioning She very much represents the rapidly changing ideals and cultural norms at-play within the country during this era. She both witnesses and is equally changed by the times in which she lives.
(Chicago, A Little
Night Music, Oceans
Dark Knight Rises,
(Sweeney Todd, Men
Black: Int., Beauty &
(Nine, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,
Guys and Dolls)
Father - Mother’s professionally successful husband. Fancying himself an amateur explorer, he is commanding and enjoys being the family breadwinner. His sense of nostalgia and connection for the past prevents him from adapting to the changing realities of the world in which he exists.
(Star Trek: Enterprise, NCIS, Quantum Leap)
(Henry V, Captain Marvel, Anna Karenina)
(Les Miserables, Greatest Showman, Oklahoma, X-Men)
Neil Patrick Harris
(Hedwig & the Angry Inch, Sweeney Todd, How I Met Your Mother)
(The Producers, Seinfeld, Everybody Hates Chris)
(Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, Hairspray)
Younger Brother - Mother’s younger brother. With his wiry frame and obsessive personality, he is an erratic soul. Influenced greatly by Goldman’s teachings.
(Greatest Showman, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, High School Musical)
(Inception, Dark Knight Rises)
Evelyn Nesbitt - Beautiful vaudeville performer. Thrust into the limelight after the high profile murder of her lover, the entire world is her stage.
(Les Miserables, Serenity, Children and Art)
(Pitch Perfect, Into The Woods, High Society)
Edgar - Mother and Father’s son. He is open-hearted and curious with inexplicable clairvoyance. Never passes judgement on others.
(Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon)
Coalhouse Walker Jr. - A proud and talented pianist. He is sophisticated, with a romantic demeanor and conveys strength, polish, and intelligence. However, internally, he also reflects the unbridled rage experienced by vast numbers of African Americans at the hands of an oft unjust society
Jesse L. Martin
(Rent, The Flash)
Leslie Odum Jr.
(Rent, Hedwig and the
Angry Inch, Chicago)
L. Stephen Taylor
(Les Miserables, Aladdin,
Chicago, Porgy & Bess)
Sarah - A washwoman. Sarah initially experiences extreme anguish and depression, but eventually becomes filled with a strong will to live fueled by an innocent spirit. She falls deeply in love with Coalhouse after much resistance. She is young, passionately idealistic, naïve and beautiful.
Renee Elise Goldsberry
(Once On This Island,
American Idol, Young
and the Restless)
(Colony, Underground, Battlefield America)
(12 years a slave, Walking Dead: Passage, How to Get Away with Murder)
Coolers, For Colored Girls)
Sheila Bette Jones
(Jesus Christ Superstar, Oklahoma, Dreamgirls)
Booker T. Washington - Polished and educated. He embodies and provides the voice of restraint and wisdom for his people in the face the injustices and unimaginably trying circumstances they face.
Brian Stokes Mitchell
(Ragtime, Kiss Me Kate)
(Porgy and Bess, Les Mis, Ragtime)
Tateh - The haggard artist and father. He wears the trials and tribulations of his past on his sleeve, but remains optimistic. Full of genuine drive and heart. He displays the struggles of the newly arrived to this country during the turn of the century. Tateh is an imaginably devoted and loving father to his daughter
Sasha Baren Cohen
(Sweeney Todd, Les Mis)
(The Band's Visit, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Monk)
(Shazam, Chuck, First Date, Thor)
Houdini - Embodies the story of an immigrant’s success in America.
(The Pianist, Grand Budapest Hotel, Predators)
Emma Goldman - Social activist. With an unapologetically demanding presence, she is a leader and powerful woman. A staunch anarchist, Goldman’s verbalized political zeal is palpable.
(Into The Woods, Iron Lady, Mama Mia)
Helena Bonham Carter
(Les Mis, Sweeney Todd)
JP Morgan - Represents the upper .0013% of the country at this time in American history.
(Forrest Bump, Saving Private Ryan)
Henry Ford - an innovator. His passion for his business is felt and reflected in every waking second of his life
John C. Reilly
(Chicago, Walk Hard, Step Brothers)
Willie Conklin - The epitome of racial intolerance. Brash, brazen, abrasive, offensive, and just plain ugly.
Sarah's Friend - Fiercely supportive of Sarah. She gets Coalhouse in line and mourns Sarah at her funeral.
(Ragtime, Porgy & Bess)
POTENTIAL SHOOTING LOCATIONS
Much of the story takes place in New Rochelle, New York (early 1900s)
New York State - 30% tax credit + 10% for shooting in upstate NYC (75% of expenses before post production must be in NY)
Georgia - 30% tax credit (min of $500K spend)
POTENTIAL RELEASE DATE WINDOWS
November - January (December limited release for Oscar consideration)
As seen below, there is a clear trend of successful musicals opening around the Christmas/New Year holiday. Some successful musicals opened up in the middle of the Summer (Mama Mia, Hairspray, Moulin Rouge), but that was before the modern summer "tentpole" era.
The occasional film would open around November (Rent, Black Nativity), but I could not find any examples of that being a successful opening date for a musical. That could be due to competition with Black Friday and the beginning of the shopping season. Christmas/New Years is the most desirable release window.