‘Little Shop of Horrors’: What Will Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson Sing?
Greg Berlanti has been developing a remake of Little Shop of Horrors for years. The latest casting report is that Captain America Chris Evans is in negotiatoins for the role of dentist Orin Scrivello. That would be a supporting role to Seymour Krelborn and Audrey. Taron Egerton and Scarlett Johansson could potentially play the leads with Billy Porter as the voice of the killer plant.
Little Shop of Horrors dates back to 1960 and it wasn’t a musical yet. Here’s a handy guide to all the different versions of Little Shop of Horrors, so you’ll know who Evans, Egerton, Johansson and Porter may be playing.
Roger Corman’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
Roger Corman was the king of low budget films. Still is, really. The Little Shop of Horrors may have been his cheapest movie ever. Corman has told the story in many interviews on many DVDs how he produced The Little Shop of Horrors in only two and a half days, using existing sets from another movie, A Bucket of Blood. The film only runs 72 minutes.
The plot centers around Mushnick’s flower shop. Krelborn (Jonathan Haze) discovers an exotic plant he names Audrey Jr. after his coworker Audrey (Jackie Joseph). Dr. Phoebus Farb (John Shaner) is the dentist whose flower arrangement Krelborn screws up. Jack Nicholson has an early role as one of Farb’s patients, but don’t be fooled by DVDs that put Nicholson on the cover. It’s a small role.
Audrey Jr. makes Mushnick’s a sensation. The only problem is, Audrey Jr. isn’t a normal plant that grows with water and sunlight. Audrey Jr. needs blood, so Krelborn has to deliver fresh victims to keep Mushnick’s in business.
‘Little Shop of Horrors’ sings
In 1982, the stage musical Little Shop of Horrors premiered Off-Off-Broadway. Musical duo Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman wrote the musical adaptation. They would go on to write music for Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Productions continue to play, including a Broadway run in 2003.
The stage version runs considerably longer than 72 minutes, with rock n’ roll songs beefing up the story. Audrey Jr. becomes Audrey II and Dr. Farb becomes Scrivello and sings “Dentist!” about how much he loves causing pain. That would be Evans’ showstopper if indeed he plays Scrivello.
Audrey II’s “Feed Me, Seymour” is a signature Little Shop of Horrors song while Audrey sings the wistful “Somewhere That’s Green” and duets with Krelborn for “Suddenly Seymour.” An Edgerton/Johansson duet needs to happen! The musical also adds the trio Chiffon, Crystal and Ronette as sort of a singing chorus. They sing the title song, “Da-Doo” which explains how Krelborn found Audrey II, and they backup many songs including “Dentist.”
Back on the big screen in 1986
Frank Oz directed the 1986 movie adaptation of the musical Little Shop of Horrors. Rick Moranis played Krelborn, Ellen Greene reprised her stage role of Audrey and Steve Martin played Scrivello. Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops provided the voice of Audrey II and the movie added the original song “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space.” Vincent Gardenia played Mushnik without a C while Tichina Arnold, Michelle Weeks and Tisha Campbell were the singing trio.
The movie changed the ending of the stage show though. In the original show, Audrey II eats Audrey and eventually Seymour. Oz found that in test screenings, movie audiences didn’t like a downer ending, so they reshot one where Seymour and Audrey are victorious and get to go somewhere that’s green.
Frank Oz’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ director’s cut
In the original cut of his film, Audrey II didn’t just eat Seymour and Audrey. Giant Audrey IIs took over the world, stomping on cities Godzilla style. Oz had to scrap all of that when audiences demanded a happy ending. It was millions of dollars in special effects.
The original Little Shop of Horrors ending first surfaced on DVDs in the late ‘90s that Warner Brothers recalled shortly after their release due to rights issues. In 2012, Warner Brothers finally restored the original ending, complete with new sound effects, and released it on DVD and Blu-ray. The director’s cut runs nine minutes longer with the restored ending. Will Berlanti’s movie go with the original stage ending?