molly and the moon

Love is an open door, and the Molly and the Moon is an open door for Frozen 2 co-stars Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff to play a couple in a musical once again — but this time, in live-action. An original musical from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig ThomasMolly and the Moon reunites the Frozen and Frozen 2 co-stars in a film inspired by a Thomas’ personal experience of having a baby born with a rare genetic disorder.

We’ll finally get a duet between Bell and Groff, and it will be in live-action. Deadline reports that one of the “hot” packages out of AFM is Molly and the Moon, an original musical set to star Bell and Groff as parents of a baby that embarks on an epic journey to go home to its parents. How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bay and Craig Thomas wrote and will direct Molly and the Moon, which is inspired by a personal crisis experienced by Thomas, after his son Elliot was born with Jacobsen Syndrome, a rare genetic deletion where a piece of one of the 11th chromosomes has broken off.

“What it meant for Elliot is that he had several heart defects and needed open-heart surgery at only two weeks old, and we did not see any of this coming,” Thomas said to Deadline. Thomas and his wife were unable to touch their baby for a long time, as it needed to be kept in an incubator for weeks, and it gave Thomas a realization. “He was having a more mythic, epic journey that I had in my three decades of life, all in his first couple of weeks of life,” Thomas said.

This provided the inspiration for Molly and the Moon, which imagines an epic journey within a pregnant mother’s (Bell) stomach, as a girl “in a rowboat in the middle of the ocean, looking up at the moon and hearing a…lullaby come through the moon,” Thomas described. “It’s the moment you realize there’s this little soul, this life that wants to exist and be in the world and wants to reach the sound of that voice. She doesn’t know what it means or who it is. It just sounds like love, and she wants to reach it, and that’s sort of the moment that we connect the two worlds of our movie, the world of Molly and the real world that her parents are living in.”

That element was inspired by Thomas and his wife singing lullabies to Elliot while he was in the incubator. “That is the reason we made Molly and the Moon a musical, and to this day, music is such a part of what defines Elliot,” Thomas added.

Groff plays Brian, Molly’s dad, while Bell plays Kate. Despite the fantastical premise of this film, Thomas and Bays insisted that Molly and the Moon will be live-action to “feel like the classic live action fantasy movies of our childhood, things like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal,” Bays said. Both Bell and Groff are fantastic actors, whether onscreen or in the recording booth, so seeing them get to show their musical charms in live-action forms will be great, even if their screentime will likely be limited compared to Molly. But that is no matter, since Molly and the Moon sounds like one of the most inventive and moving original musicals that has hit Hollywood in a while.

Harvey Mason Jr (Sing and the Pitch Perfect films) will be the executive music producer, Stephanie Diaz-Matos (The Get Down) will be the music supervisor and Nathan Larson the composer. CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group will introduce the package to buyers and FilmNation is handling international sales.

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