Something rotten!, the 2015 hit Broadway comedy set in Shakespeare’s time, has an early scene in which one of Bard’s rivals is encouraged to add melody to his play and invent something called “The Musical.” A rival playwright quickly dismisses the idea before breaking into song enthusiastically.
In a new trailer for Hulu’s Mel Brooks comedy History of the World Volume II, Shakespeare is seen leading the writer’s room when a writer suggests adding music to his play. Shakespeare enthusiastically dismisses the idea before breaking into song.
Something rotten! Book author John O’Farrell noted the similarities in a series of tweets this morning, saying Brooks’ project “tears us apart.”
O’Farrell, who also wrote for the book Mrs. Doubtfire Musical Instruments, Tweet:
Forsooth, Mel Brooks’ new film ripped us off from Something Rotten!
I know writers can come up with similar ideas but our musical ran on Broadway for 2 years and then toured for another 2 years, there is no way that everyone associated with his film was unaware of it….
Our premise was ‘what if they bring the idea of a musical to Shakespeare’s London?’ And here’s an excerpt from Mel Brooks’ new movie. (Stylishly, or the show was about the writers pinching each other’s ideas!)
I had an idea in the past that I later realized I saw elsewhere: then you have to come up with something new. Mel Brooks has given me so much joy over the years, I’d be sad if he was so omnipotent now that no one could tell him ‘Mel, they already did that!’
The plot seems disjointed with breaking-to-song moments Something rotten! The character, named Nick Bottom and played on Broadway by Brian D’Arcy James, took the idea and spent the next several hours participating in just such a musical. In Brooks’ comedy, Shakespeare, played by Josh Gad, appears in the trailer clip to reject it. After belting out the song for a while, Shakespeare snipes, “Anyone else, well idea?”
We’ll have to wait until March 6 to see how the series debuts on Hulu history goes forward
Until then, decide for yourself. Check out the comparison clips in O’Farrell’s tweets below
Disney/Hulu has been reached for comment.