DISTRIB/RELEASE DATE: Paramount, Dec. 15
ADAPTED FROM: The stage play “Dreamgirls”; book & lyrics by Tom Eyen, music by Henry Krieger.
STORYLINE: The rise of a ’60s R&B girl group (think the Supremes) and the Faustian bargains they make along the way.
ABOUT THE SCRIPT: Condon says: “The whole movie is about reaching the point past which people won’t go to pursue their dreams. One by one, everybody reaches that point.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: ” ‘Dreamgirls’ onstage was almost entirely sung through — it was more like an opera than a musical. I really do believe that it’s much easier for contemporary audiences to accept musical performances when they’re done on a stage, rather than in reality, as book songs. But the big musical numbers in ‘Dreamgirls’ are book songs. So I took any chance to change a book song into a performance, keeping story alive in every song. I think it’s the essential thing for movie musicals.”
BREAKTHROUGH IDEA: “Because movies were real, to set it in a time and place, to root it in Detroit in the ’60s and L.A. in the ’70s, and to have what happened to Detroit become a mirror of what happened to this group and their dreams.”
CHOICE LINES: Jamie Foxx, as cold-blooded manager Curtis, to Beyonce, as Deena, diva of the Dreams: “Do you know why I chose you to sing lead? Because your voice has no personality, no depth, only what I put in there.”