Empire Records to be turned into Broadway musical

Beloved ’90s coming of age movie, Empire Records, is due to be turned into a Broadway musical.

The movie was originally released in 1995, with breakout performances by Liv Tyler, Renee Zelleweger, Ethan Embry, Robin Tunney, Rory Cochrane and Johnny Whitworth as a group of record store employees. It has since gained a cult following, with fans even recognising Rex Manning Day each year on April 8.

“The film has developed a cult audience over the years, and addresses issues that people of all ages can identify with,” said the musical’s producer, Bill Wiener, in an interview with Rolling Stone. “It also evokes an interesting period in time, the Nineties, where the music business was changing – and a lot of people remember that as part of their youth. I knew we had something when I would tell people about the show and consistently see faces light up – everyone has a story, whether it’s that they saw the movie 10 times, stole the video cassette from an older sibling or the soundtrack was the first CD they ever purchased.”

Producers of the musical are aiming for a 2020 release date, with original Empire Records writer Carol Heikkinen adapting her script for Broadway, noting the new format will allow her to further develop the various characters through dialogue and lyrics. “I think the way that teenagers feel about music hasn’t changed – they define themselves by it,” she said.

Empire Records also had an impressive soundtrack, featuring the likes of The Gin Blossoms, Evan Dando, The Cranberries, and more.

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