Molly and the Moon: Kristen Bell & Jonathan Groff to Reunite in Live-Action Musical Film
According to Deadline, Golden Globe nominee Kristen Bell (The Good Place) and Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (Hamilton) have officially set up their first live-action teamed-up project as they have signed on for the leading roles in the upcoming original musical film titled Molly and the Moon. This marks Bell and Groff’s latest collaboration after starring together in Disney’s blockbuster animated films Frozen and Frozen II which have a combined gross of over $2 billion worldwide. The project hails from How I Met Your Mother creators and Emmy-nominated duo Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, who are also set to make their feature directorial debuts with the film.
Molly and the Moon is being described as a comedy musical fantasy drama which will center around a little girl named Molly and her parents Kate and Brian, who will be portrayed by Bell and Groff, respectively. The songs Kate and Brian will sing together become the North Star for Molly to find her way through a mythical world, toward the moon she instinctively feels is calling her.
The story is inspired by Thomas’ personal crisis concerning the birth of his son Elliot, who was born with a rare genetic condition that resulted in him getting several heart defects and open-heart surgery at only two weeks old.
“It’s all live-action; we really wanted to make it feel like the classic live-action fantasy movies of our childhood, things like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal,” Bays said. “As we were building off of this metaphor, it became, how do we show this journey? How do we visualize a soul trying to make it into the world? For us, it felt like the journey of climbing a mountain. Molly is this little girl and the moon in the movie represents being alive and participating in the world. It’s her journey, trying to get to the moon. Around that we built this magical fantasy world that we cut back and forth from, that interacts with the real world in surprising ways. We see the fantasy journey and the friends she makes along the way. There’s a knight in shining armor. There’s a talking bunny that she meets in the forest. There’s a monster that she has to face. It’s a real hero’s journey for her.”
Thomas added, “The meter of Molly Moon is sort of the same as Elliot. Musicals are always about the first moments that prove why they are musicals. Kate, our lead character, the mother, is singing a lullaby to her pregnant belly and will sort of push in on that pregnant belly and go into this other world where we see a mysterious little girl in a rowboat in the middle of the ocean, looking up at the moon and hearing that song, hearing that lullaby come through the moon. It’s the moment you realize there’s this little soul, this life that wants to exist and be in the world and wants to reach the sound of that voice. She doesn’t know what it means or who it is. It just sounds like love, and she wants to reach it, and that’s sort of the moment that we connect the two worlds of our movie, the world of Molly and the real world that her parents are living in.”
Thomas also revealed that the film will also be inspired by films such as Where The Wild Things Are, and Alice in Wonderland. He is hoping that by telling this story, he could honor his son and all the parents who have gone through or are currently experiencing the same difficult journey they’ve undergone.
Molly and the Moon will be directed by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays from a screenplay they co-wrote. Harvey Mason Jr. (Sing, Pitch Perfect films), Stephanie Diaz-Matos, and Nathan Larson have also boarded the project to serve as executive music producer, music supervisor, and composer, respectively. It will be produced by Jared Ian Goldman, Renee Witt and Jamal Daniel with Tory Metzger set as a producer.
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