South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker currently have a musical playing on Broadway musical called The Book of Mormon, which has had a pretty successful run so far, and it's also been getting good reviews. Of course the next step would be to turn the musical play into a movie. In a recent report from Deadline producer Scott Rudin will be eventually start shopping the broadway musical to studios. When I first heard about the play I knew a film version wouldn't be far behind.
According to reports the musical ridicules the faith, but is also getting laughs from liberal Mormons. Apparently when Parker and Stone enter into religious territory with their projects they want to be "respectful of the believers while showing irreverence toward the beliefs." It seems like the two points in that statement kind of cancel each other out. But, it's all in the name of entertainment and making money right? Parker had this to say in a statement,
Whether it’s The Bible or The Book of Mormon, these are great stories. We are storytellers and that is the real reason religion has fascinated us for so long. I don’t know where people get the impression we’re anti-religious. I don’t think South Park has ever been anti-religion, or that Trey and I have ever felt that way.
I would have to say that a lot of religious people out there would definitely disagree with that statement. We've all seen some of the controversy's rise up over the years from the South Park episodes targeting a certain religions. Of course some of us can just sit back and laugh at what it is they are doing. They've had fun with every religion in the book, so people can either take a joke or they can't.
We’ve learned in our careers that as long as something is successful, they will give you money for it. They just want to make money in Hollywood, they don’t really care. As long as the musical continues to do well, I don’t think it’s going to be hard at all.
For those of you that don't really know what the musical is about, Deadline gives a little description of what the story kind of involves. It touches on both serious tones as well as comedic elements,
They portray 3 wide-eyed Mormons trying in vain to convert a Ugandan village afflicted with poverty, rampant AIDS, and violence at the hands of rebel soldiers. There are musical numbers that feature provocative and explicit lyrics. (Songs include one with a chorus that means "Fuck God," another about the importance of stifling gay urges, and another about the maggots in a villager's scrotum.) The turning point in getting the village to embrace baptism? When a bumbling missionary enhances Mormon teachings with story lines and characters from Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings and makes the faith more appealing.
I'd be interested in checking it out. I don't think I'll ever see the actual Broadway musical, but if it eventually ends up a movie then yeah, I'd watch it. Now without getting into any religious bashing (because that's not what we want to do here), what do you think about this play being turning into film, or how Stone and Parker take on religions in general?