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Saturday, December 10, 2005
Marketing The Producers

I was noticing something interesting about the Universal's trailer for the new version of The Producers. You can see it here, or if you have a TiVo it's available under the Showcases menu. Go have a look.




What's weird is, the trailer goes out of its way to avoid the fact that this version is a musical. There are several excerpts from music of Springtime For Hitler, but that's -- watch this! -- diagetic music; it's there because SFH is seen to be a musical show. OK, you've got Uma Thurman singing, by my count, five words for three seconds, but that clip's more to show off her gymnastic ability than to persuade us to see a musical. If you don't know, you might well expect to be seeing a straight remake of the original. Given that the last live-action movie musical I can think of, Chicago, did pretty well, I wonder why the marketing people decided to downplay that aspect.

UPDATE: Mark Evanier's review of the film addresses this point, and mentions the existence of the film of Rent, whose poor showing is probably relevant, and also illustrates the pitfalls of my logic above -- the last musical I can think of did well, because I didn't think of the one(s) that didn't.

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