Shock Me, Shock Me, Shock Me: Empire Records Is Being Made Into a Musical


Cult classic Empire Record’s 25th anniversary is in 2020 (for the love of GWAR), so the film’s creators are planning a re-release of sorts. But this time they’ll be fighting the death of vinyl on Broadway.

Deadline reports the teen coming-of-age on Rex Manning Day story will be produced as a musical by Bill Weiner. The book will come from the film’s original screen writer Carol Heikkinen, with new music and lyrics from Zoe Sarnak. They are fully admitting this enterprise is powered by nostalgia:

“The movie was really about a family that formed among these minimum-wage record clerks,” said Carol Heikkinen. “There’s a lot of nostalgia now for those old record stores where you could go and talk to people who loved the same music you loved, and discover new bands.”

Sarnak, too, knows of the movie from her years watching it with friends and shouting, “Damn the Man! Save the Empire!”

“I first saw Empire Records when my older sister brought it home on VHS – I remember sneaking into the TV room while she was watching it with her friends. Over the years, I watched it again and again because that cast – those characters – were my idea of the coolest misfits. Teenagers who loved music as much as I did, and still do. The film’s music so iconically captured the sound of that decade – a sound that has indelibly shaped my own aesthetic.”

My dark secret is I never particularly liked this movie—everyone was too hot to be so upset about everything. But I have also seen it five million times, because there was no way to avoid its popularity amongst a certain segment of the youths. And the nostalgia still works. I want to see this; I may even re-watch the movie this weekend to see how it has aged. My guess? Badly. Please share any relevant gifs, quotes, and potential song numbers in the comments.

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