Holy Broadway, Batman! From Musical Theater to Superhero Pipeline


Superhero universes inspired by Marvel and DC comics have given way to epic crossovers between stage and screen communities. While singing and dancing in eight shows a week is a superpower in itself, many Triple Threat artists have found themselves facing justice in a variety of projects from Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., The CW, and more.

With She-Hulk: Lawyer Premiering on Disney+ on August 18, Marvel is once again getting all the attention. The series stars Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk and Mark Ruffalo, reprising his role as Bruce Banner/Hulk (which he has played since 2012 The avengers), alongside musical theater actors Renée Elise Goldsberry and Josh Segarra, who burst into the comic universe.

Goldsberry has wowed Broadway fans for nearly two decades with productions of The Lion King, The purple color, LEASEand hamiltonwho followed her long career as a background singer in the hit TV drama Ally McBeal. She’s set to make her superhero genre debut on the show as not a super-powered being, but a perfectionist lawyer who works at the same firm as Walters. Segarra, best known for Broadway On your Feet! and the Off-Broadway musical adaptation of air combat, plays the role of the trouble-free colleague of the duo Augustus “Carlin” Pugliese. Who knows, maybe they’ll wear tights by the end of the series.

Needless to say, the pipeline from musical theater to superhero is quite extensive, which was apparently spoofed in Marvel Studio’s 2021 Disney+ series. Hawk Eye through a Captain America-themed musical sequence (dubbed Rogers: the musicl) with Broadway’s Adam Pascal. Here’s a list of “high-flying and adored” performers who made their leap into a musical before starring in a superhero project. (Movie musicals not included, sorry OG-Newsie turned Batman Christian Bale.)

Tom Holland as Spiderman
Playbill / Chuck Zlotnick – Sony Pictures

Having yet to dance across Broadway, 12-year-old Tom Holland performed the title role in West End’s Billy Elliot for two years in 2008-2010, which should come as no surprise to anyone who saw her performance of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” on Lip Sync Battle. After his run, he held minor roles in films The impossible, how i live nowand In the heart of the sea before creating the role of the teenage spider web-thrower in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Holland made his first appearance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man (a role previously popularized by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield) in the 2016 action movie Captain America: Civil War before his own title film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, which debuted the following year. He reprized the character in six total Marvel films, however, after the release of Spider-Man: No Coming Homehis future in the cinematic universe is unknown.

Ariana DeBose as Calypso
Mati Ficara/Marvel Comics

The star of 2022 is heading to Sony’s Spider-Man universe. The West Side Story The Oscar-winning actress made her Broadway debut in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical adaptation in 2012 Bring it onand was last seen on Broadway as Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, after playing Jane in A Bronx Tale The Musical, and the ball in hamilton. She then starred in Ryan Murphy’s film adaptation of Prom as Alyssa Green and Apple TV+ musical comedy series Schmidadon!

DeBose should star in the next Kraven the hunter film, joining the cast as the super-powered villain Calypso, a voodoo priestess who manipulates Kraven into teaming up against Spider-Man.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
Heather Gershonowitz / JAMES FISHER – 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS

Hugh Jackman played an unforgettable role in 20th Century Fox’s x-men films, delivering a snippy, action-packed portrayal of Wolverine, a role often considered his breakthrough in the film industry. He played the character nine times, over 17 years, before saying goodbye with the 2017 film Loganwhich was immediately followed by The greatest showman (we, the children of theater, remain winners).

But before all that, he was a stage actor who racked up credits through Walt Disney productions and the West End before making his Broadway debut as Peter Allen in 2003. The boy of oz. The two-time Tony winner went on to star in plays Regular rain and Riverand his own concert residence, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadwayand currently leads The music man with Sutton Foster.

Jordan Fisher as Pulse
Photo courtesy of The CW

As Jordan Fisher worked his way through his ensemble role in the Disney musical Teen beach movie and his recurring roles in The secret life of the American teenager and and Liv and Maddiehe caught Broadway’s attention playing Doody in Grease: live (filmed by Fox). Shortly after, he made his Broadway debut in hamilton as John Laurens/Philip hamilton in 2016 and later led Fox’s disaster-prone team Rent: Living as Mark Cohen before getting into Netflix movies To all the boys: PS I still love you and Hello, goodbye and everything else.

Now he stars as Bart Allen/Impulse (AKA Kid Flash) on The CW’s flash, joining the show in 2021. His fast-talking, crime-fighting character is the son of Barry Allen/The Flash, played by Joy croon Grant Gustine.

Anthony Ramos in Stone heart
Playbill / Marvel Comics

Fans went wild last week when Anthony Ramos was spotted in his Stone heart outfit – a red hooded cap, black pants and a gray vest – after it was announced for the series in February 2022. Before charming moviegoers as Usnavi de la Vega in the film adaptation of In the heightsRamos made his Broadway debut in the hit musical hamilton, which has won 11 Tony Awards. Since then, the interpreter has gone from stage to screen, with notable credits (in addition to In the heights) in the A star is born remake, the family animated film The mean ones, and the television series Blind spot.

In addition to his upcoming Marvel debut, he’s been tapped to direct the next installment of the Transformers franchise – but in the next superhero series, it’s not about having the good guys on your side. While unconfirmed, he is said to step into the villainous role of The Hood (theorized from recent photos), a petty criminal who gains the powers of a powerful demon.

Ciara Renee as Hawkgirl
Photo courtesy of The CW

Best known for her Broadway roles in Big fish, Pippin apple, Frozenand Waitress, in which superhero project did Ciara Renée appear? Here’s a hint: it’s three different shows on The CW. The stage and screen performer appeared in the flash, Arrowand DC Legends of tomorrow as Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl.

Her character has gone through centuries of reincarnation, brought about by the Egyptian high priestess Chay-Ara. She has super sharp claws, wings, and increased strength.

Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius / Ocean Master
Playbill / Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Before fighting demons in Conspiracy franchise, winning hearts in the The Phantom of the Opera film adaptation and kicking superhero ass Aquaman, Patrick Wilson studied acting at Carnegie Mellon University and sang show tunes on Broadway. The actor made his Broadway debut in The fascinating rhythm of the Gershwins in 1999 before joining the productions of The full Monty (earning his first Tony nomination), Oklahoma! (another name for Tony), and the room Bare feet in the park.

Based on the DC character and part of the DC Extended Universe, Wilson portrays Orm Marius/Ocean Master in the 2018 film Aquaman and his next successor. He’s introduced as a villain seeking to destroy human life through ocean pollution, but is expected to show his soft side in the 2023 sequel. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.


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