The Notebook, the 2004 movie that helped establish Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as stars, is getting a reboot. Like its aughts contemporary Mean Girls and its '90s predecessor Clueless, the film—based on Nicholas Sparks’s 1996 book—is being turned into a stage musical (one producers hope, that if all goes as planned, makes it to Broadway). While Gosling and McAdams are likely not returning to their roles, the production is being handled by This Is Us producer Bekah Brunstetter, who is writing the stage treatment, and musician Ingrid Michaelson who is, naturally, writing the music for it.
It was Michaelson who revealed that a musical version of The Notebook is in the works, during an appearance on the Today Show. “It’s been a long process for me,” she said. “But it’s been slowly building…. I haven’t been able to talk about it because we’ve been in negotiations and getting directors and stuff. But finally, my producers signed off and said this is a perfect way to announce it.”
She also talked about the songs, without giving much away. “It’s so different when you’re writing for a character, when you’re writing for these other people, than when you’re writing about yourself or your own emotions,” Michaelson said. “So it’s been really interesting and really different for me to write from these perspectives. And just the idea of this undying love and of loss and memory—I can’t stop writing them. I’m going to have too many.”
It would truly be something if Gosling and McAdams reunited for the musical, considering how much they both hated filming the movie—at least in the beginning. Before they dated on and off until 2009, their on-set fighting almost ended the film. "Maybe I’m not supposed to tell this story, but they were really not getting along one day on set," director Nick Cassavetes said in 2014. "And Ryan came to me, and there’s 150 people standing in this big scene, and he says, 'Nick come here.' And he’s doing a scene with Rachel and he says, 'Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me?' I said, 'What?' He says, 'I can’t. I can’t do it with her. I’m just not getting anything from this.'"
Of course, they eventually worked it out. But not before Gosling suggested that his character literally burns it all down—a suggestion which Cassavetes didn't go for. “[Ryan] wants to talk to you about what he’s gonna do. He wants to go prepare for it, feel it, live it, explore other options for it,” Cassavetes said. “He’d come to me and say, ’Why can’t I burn the house down?’ I’d say, ’Because I don’t even know what that means.’ And he’d say, ’Cleansing my fire!'” Maybe they can incorporate that into the musical.