Lorene Scafaria says she's 'trying' to adapt Hustlers as Broadway musical
In the immortal words of Jennifer Lopez’s Ramona Vega: “This whole country is a strip club.” And that includes Broadway.
Hustlers director Lorene Scafaria revealed Sunday night on the Golden Globes red carpet that she’s currently attempting to adapt her ensemble crime drama — which follows a tight-knit clan of strip club employees (Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart) who scam money from their rich Wall Street clients amid the 2008 financial crisis — for the stage.
“We’re just starting,” the 41-year-old told Variety ahead of the ceremony, where Lopez was nominated for her supporting role in the project as the scamming strippers’ ringleader. “I said it to them a few months ago that I thought it would be a good idea, that’s all. Who knows. I’m trying to develop it for the stage!”
When asked if she envisioned the final product — which distributor STX Films confirmed to EW is in discussions — using hit songs from the past (like Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” and Janet Jackson’s “Control”) or incorporating new tunes into the story, Scafaria said it’s possible to “have a little bit of a mix.” Referencing pop star Usher’s Hustlers cameo as a strip club patron making it rain while his hit song “Love in This Club” blared, later joked that it’s “going to depend what Usher lets us do, really. So much depends on Usher!” (Representatives for the distributor did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.)
Scafaria explained that a stage adaptation might work because of the diverse audience Hustlers cultivated across its box office run, which launched in September and resulted in more than $157 million in global ticket sales ($105 million of which came from North America, making the film Lopez’s first live-action picture to cross the milestone mark).
“We had a lot of different kinds of people turning out for Hustlers, it was a wider net than I imagined,” she said. “I think it’s a safe place…. for people to enjoy something that maybe they wouldn’t enjoy, and maybe they’ll get inspired to go to an actual strip club and support the girls.”
At the Gotham Awards in December, Lopez told Extra a Broadway adaptation of the film would “be amazing,” but she wasn’t sure if she’d reprise the role that seems likely to land her first Oscar nomination next week.
“It really lends itself to a Broadway show, and to a live-performance show,” Lopez said. “I don’t know that I would do it. I would produce it, for sure. I don’t know. Maybe. You never know with me.”
Watch Scafaria discuss her desire to bring Hustlers to Broadway above.