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Paul McCartney writing stage musical It's a Wonderful Life

Jul 18, 2019

An angel just got its wings.

Legendary musician Paul McCartney announced Thursday he will tackle a career-first endeavor, as he will write the music and lyrics for an upcoming stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life.

The 77-year-old has partnered with Bill Kenwright to produce the show, after the famed West End theater and film producer approached McCartney to work on the project upon acquiring the rights to the film three years ago. The Beatles icon reportedly worked on the music in the United Kingdom and New York City, between promotional efforts for his 2018 album Egypt Station.

McCartney also collaborated on lyrics with Tony-winning English writer Lee Hall, who’s drafting the musical’s book.

Like many of these things this all started with an email,” McCartney said in a statement. “Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for. Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun. It’s a Wonderful Life is a universal story we can all relate to.”

Capra’s film — starring Jimmy Stewart as a desperately frustrated family man who, with the help of an angel, watches scenes from his life as if he’d never existed — has gone on to become a holiday classic since its theatrical run, which initially led to five total Oscar nominations (including one for Best Picture).

McCartney’s music for It’s a Wonderful Life will be heard when the production debuts sometime in 2020.

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