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Two Record Store Films Getting New Leases on Life

by VVN Music

Over the history of film, only a few have focused on music lover's favorite place to hang out, the record store.

In 1995, there was the story of the independent store Empire Records with Anthony LaPaglia, Liv Tyler, Ethan Embrey, Rene Zellweger and Debi Mazar while another independent was the setting for 2000's High Fidelity with John Cusack and Jack Black.

Both of those films are about to be resurrected in new editions.  Empire Records is headed to a possible Broadway run as a musical after producer Bill Weiner has acquired the rights to the story. As a plus for those who are worried about the transition, Carol Heikkinen, who wrote the original screenplay, will script the show with emerging songwriter Zoe Sarnak writing the words and music.

Heikkinen told the Hollywood Reporter "The movie was really about a family that formed among these minimum-wage record clerks. 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. We hope the musical will capture the memory of what it was like to be young in a time before iTunes and Spotify — music is such an important part of the youth experience, and it’s what brings these characters together. Zoe’s the perfect partner for this; the movie was part of her adolescence and she not only gets the music, but the themes of friendship and family."

Producer Weiner added "As a film, Empire Records captured the hearts of millions of Americans, and I am so excited for Carol’s words and vision to be brought together with Zoe’s incredible music and lyrics. They both have such a passion for the story and its time."

As for High Fidelity, it has been reported that Disney is looking at developing a TV series based on the film but with a woman playing the John Cusack part. Deadline reports that the series will be a ”departure from the book and the movie while still capturing the romantic comedy and authentic spirit of the original source materials."