Break out the popcorn, the summer movie season is coming! With openings of new Broadway shows slowing down during the summer months, there are still plenty of chances to catch some of your favorite theater stars in action. From the Tom Cruise-led film adaptation of the '80s-obsessed musical Rock of Ages to quirky indies starring stage favorites like Patti LuPone, Hugh Dancy and Zoe Kazan, there is something for all theater tastes. Check out these 10 movies worth catching at your local cineplex this season.
Hysteria (May 18)
Broadway Connection: Venus in Fur star Hugh Dancy, two-time Tony winner Jonathan Pryce
A hit at the Toronto Film Festival, this comedy stars Dancy as a Victorian era doctor who, in an attempt to treat his female patients' "hysteria," inadvertently starts a sexual revolution. Dancy's methods involve a device that would pave the way for the modern day vibrator, a contraption that catches the eye of a strong-willed local woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal). A similar story was explored in Sarah Ruhl's 2009 Tony-nominated play In the Next Room...or the Vibrator Play.
What To Expect When You're Expecting (May 18)
Broadway Connection: Tony nominee Matthew Morrison
Three years after taking the TV world by storm, Glee's Matthew Morrison makes his first substantial big screen appearance in this comedy inspired by the longtime best-selling pregnancy book. Morrison plays dutiful husband to a very pregnant (but still very fashionable!) Cameron Diaz. Tony nominee Anna Kendrick and Broadway alum Chris Rock also make appearances.
Moonrise Kingdom (May 25)
Broadway Connection: Tony winner Frances McDormand
In director Wes Anderson's latest film, two tweens (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) run away together for a summer of puppy love. McDormand plays the young girl's concerned mother, who is at odds with her apathetic husband (Bill Murray). The movie's ensemble cast also features Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton.
Lola Versus (June 8)
Broadway Connection: Zoe Lister-Jones, Cheyenne Jackson
After examining the romantic trials of twentysomething New Yorkers in 2010 indie Breaking Upwards, screenwriter and Seminar star Zoe-Lister Jones is taking a second look at finding love in the Big Apple. When her fiancé calls off their wedding weeks before the big day, Lola (Greta Gerwig) tries to put her life back together and return to the dating scene. Lister-Jones, alongside fellow Seminar vet Hamish Linklater, stars as Lola's supportive pal, with Cheyenne Jackson and Tony nominee Maria Dizzia also among the cast.
Rock of Ages (June 15)
Broadway Connection: Based on the hit Tony-nominated musical
Three years after opening on Broadway, the head-banging '80s rock musical is headed to the big screen with a film adaptation from Hairspray director Adam Shankman. Newcomer Diego Boneta plays eager musician Drew, who along with new gal pal Sherrie (Julianne Hough) hopes to one day rule the rock scene of Los Angeles. Tom Cruise shows off his vocal chops as megastar Stacee Jax, alongside Tony winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (in Tipper Gore mode as a crusading metal-hating politician's wife, a role not part of the original stage version). Tony nominee Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Malin Akerman and Mary J. Blige are also among the star-studded cast.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22)
Broadway Connection: Benjamin Walker
After rocking out on Broadway in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Ben Walker is tackling another president in this adaptation of the popular supernatural Seth Grahame-Smith novel. Like Bloody Bloody, the film is an irreverent take on American history, imagining the 16th president as a bad-ass axe-wielder who takes matters into his own hands when undead bloodsuckers conspire to trigger the Civil War.
The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3)
Broadway Connection: Andrew Garfield
Tony-nominated Death of a Salesman star Andrew Garfield is slipping in to Spidey's tights for this reboot of the popular franchise. The Amazing Spider-Man heads back to Peter Parker's early days as he tries to uncover the true story of his biological parents. In addition to Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark, the famed webslinger will now be swinging on Broadway and the big screen this summer!
Union Square (July 20)
Broadway Connection: Tammy Blanchard and Patti LuPone
Another film picked up at the Toronto Film Festival, Union Square stars Mira Sorvino as Lucy, a wild and crazy Bronx girl who shows up at the Manhattan apartment of her estranged, uptight sister Jenny (Blanchard). Jenny is less than thrilled to have her life with her fiancé inconvenienced by Lucy, who is looking for a place to stay. The siblings soon head on a path toward reconciliation. LuPone appears as the girls' mother, with Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega stirring up trouble as Lucy's loud-mouthed friend.
Ruby Sparks (July 25)
Broadway Connection: Zoe Kazan
Helmed by the directing team of Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks follows an aspiring novelist named Calvin (Broadway alum Paul Dano) writing a book about an eccentric young girl named Ruby. When he meets a girl with the same name (played by Dano's actual girlfriend Kazan) and personality traits of the character he's writing, Calvin first thinks he's going crazy and imagining the whole scenario. However as Ruby indeed turns out to be a real person, the duo sparks a relationship, causing Calvin to wonder how the real Ruby will affect the completion of his book.
Killer Joe (July 27)
Broadway Connection: Based on Tracy Letts' play of the same name
Reteaming with Bug director William Friedkin, Tracy Letts penned the screenplay for the film adaptation of Killer Joe, which ran off-Broadway in 1998. Billed as a "totally twisted deep fried Texas redneck trailer park murder story," Killer Joe follows Chris (Emilie Hirsch), a debt-ridden drug dealer who hires the title hit man (Matthew McConaughey) to murder his mother so he can collect her life insurance. Unable to pay the killer upfront, Chris offers the virginity of his half-sister as collateral. After petitioning the MPAA, the dark film was denied an R rating and will be released with the NC-17 stamp.
Sparkle (August 17)
Broadway Connection: In the Heights' Jordin Sparks
Sparks makes her film debut in this remake of the 1976 film of the same name, which starred Irene Cara. Sparkle follows three teenage sisters trying to make it in the music business with the guidance of their mother (the late Whitney Houston in her final role). The movie features a duet between Sparks and Houston called "Celebrate," and there's already even talk of adapting the movie for the Broadway stage.