Last year, it was announced that Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, would be directing their first live-action film together titled Alma Junction. Details to this point have been very thin on this project. However, one Reddit user has pointed out that in an April 2020 edition of Production Weekly, it revealed that Alma Junction may be a working title for a film adaptation of their hit musical, The Book of Mormon.
Alma Junction was set to go into production in March, 2020. Because of the pandemic, Hollywood shuttered most productions, and this included Alma Junction. While there has been much speculation that Alma Junction is actually The Book of Mormon movie, and very well could be, it should also be noted that Matt Stone and Trey Parker were in the midst of making a deepfake movie utilizing vfx from newly-formed Deep Voodoo studio. That project was halted at the start of lockdown, and the movie was all but canceled. Stone and Parker decided to turn what they had into a web series called Sassy Justice.
The series follows reporter Fred Sassy of Cheyenne, Wyoming (played by Peter Serafinowicz, whose face is superimposed with a deepfake of Donald Trump) who investigates the news itself, including the dangers posed by media manipulation and fake news. A number of short videos were released, and then compiled into one full 15 minute episode. It isn’t known if there will be more Sassy Justice episodes coming, or if the planned movie will be resurrected. Stone and Parker have not come outright stated that Alma Junction is what ended up being Sassy Justice. But that is as possible as Alma Junction being a Book of Mormon movie. Matt Stone and Trey Parker have stated that Sassy Justice was the movie they were working on when things shut down.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are a dominant duo in the comedy industry. South Park is one of the most hilarious animated comedies of all time and is now in its 24th season. Outside of this series, the pair have been involved in a handful of films including Orgazmo, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Cannibal! The Musical, and Team America: World Police, all of which, should be noted, are musicals. And all are directed by Trey Parker. Alma Junction will mark the first time Stone and Parker have directed a live action feature film together.
The pair’s crowning achievement that isn’t South Park may be the smash Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. The musical is highly praised and even received nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The idea of a film adaptation of this musical has been floating around for a long time, but has never been confirmed.
The Book of Mormon features the same outlandish and controversial humor that South Park is known for. Parker and Stone did not hold back from bringing some outrageous humor & songs to the Broadway stage. One of the most popular songs from this musical is Hasa Diga Eebowai, a completely twisted version of Hakuna Matata from The Lion King.
The musical centers around two Mormon missionaries who are assigned to spread their message in a remote village in Uganda. The two struggle to convert any of the villagers as they have much larger concerns than religion such as disease, famine, and warlords. While this premise sounds like it could get out of hand, the musical has a surprisingly nice message about faith and how belief can bring happiness to people, even if there may be some questionable ideas in that belief.
Movie musicals may be making a comeback as there have been many Broadway film adaptations that have either been released or will be releasing soon. 2020 saw a recorded-version of Hamilton with the original cast premiere on Disney+ and was massively popular. The Prom also premiered on Netflix with an all-star cast leading the film.
2021 features three highly anticipated adaptations. On June 11, In The Heights, another award-winning musical from Lin Manuel Miranda, will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max. In December, Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story will hit theaters. Yesterday, Universal released the first trailer for Dear Evan Hansen, which will hit theaters in September and will feature Ben Platt bringing his character from the stage to the screen.
The Book of Mormon would be an absolute treat to see a film adaptation of. Both Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells, who starred in the original cast, are huge stars now who could reprise their roles on screen. Let’s hope that this adaptation can become reality so more people can be exposed to the twisted genius seen in this musical.
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