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How The Mean Girls Musical Finally Happened

"Mean Girls" remains a perennial favorite amongst those who came of age in the early 2000s. While the movie took a larger-than-life scope to high school politics, it touched on real themes every young person seemingly goes through, from navigating cliques to overcoming rumors. It was also bolstered by standout performances by some of the best young actresses at the time, including an incredibly en vogue Lindsay Lohan as well as a breakthrough performance from Rachel McAdams. 

Following in the tradition of films like "Legally Blonde," which eventually got the musical treatment, "Mean Girls" also landed its way on Broadway. It premiered in 2018 and has done spectacular business. As evidence of this, the story has now come full circle, as "Mean Girls" the musical will now become a movie for all to enjoy who couldn't see it live. With music by Jeff Richmond, who happens to be married to "Mean Girls" screenwriter Tina Fey, this story will continue to resonate with audiences for some time to come. 

And Richmond recently spoke about what it took for the musical to get this far. 

Lorne Michaels gave Richmond and Fey the rights to make the musical

It takes a lot of people for a movie to come together. Tina Fey may have written the script for "Mean Girls," but in order to turn the hit film into a Broadway musical, they had to get the rights for it from producer Lorne Michaels. Of course, Fey and Michaels go way back with her stint on "Saturday Night Live," which he created, having started in 1997. When the time came for Fey to get into screenwriting, partnering with Michaels was a natural step. But according to Jeff Richmond, they weren't sure the musical could go forward without Michaels' approval. 

The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Richmond in honor of the "Mean Girls" musical making its way to Los Angeles, and he explained the situation they found themselves in. He stated, "[Mean Girls] seemed like people had interest and were asking about it, asking us if we were ever interested in doing a musical. Because we're so close to Lorne and he's the one who would have to give us the rights to it, we just said, 'Let's just shoot for this.' And by gosh, we are able to get the rights to the movie that Tina wrote."

Michaels has been a big champion of the musical from the get-go. In January 2021, amidst theater closures from the COVID-19 pandemic, he spoke of the project's future, "We remain excited to bring this musical to the big screen, relaunch the tour and prepare for a London production. I look forward to the day, hopefully soon, when theatres can open their doors again" (via Planet Radio). Expect more details on the "Mean Girls" musical movie in the near future.