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UPDATE: Well, as we suspected this was an Aril Fool’s joke…although it would still be a good musical. We hear it’s opening in Blaine, MO.

Thrill to the “wish” song, “I Want to Kill Your Dog” and the tender romantic ballad “Nik nik nik nik!” as MARS ATTACKS, the gory card set from the ’60s, gets what it always needed to be: a Broadway musical with a book by…John Layman! It’s based on the story of the MARS ATTACKS miniseries Layman wrote for IDW, MARS ATTACKS: 21st CENTURY SLAUGHTER, which is coming out this summer. Although this was a joke, you can search for Broadway theater tickets and see what other interesting musicals may be coming nearby.

Wow. Can this plucky bunch of kids succeed where Bono, Edge and Taymor failed? Or is this press release just misdated from Sunday, April 1st?

Originally a delightfully lurid card set painted by Norman Saunders, Mars Attacks has also been adapted into a film by Tim Burton starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Tom Jones.

Coinciding with the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, trading card giant Topps and comic book publisher IDW announced today an exciting joint venture: the co-production of a thrilling, big-budget Broadway musical based on the MARS ATTACKS saga, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012.  While Topps and IDW have each had success with their properties in film, a Broadway production is a first for both companies.

“Topps and IDW recently made a long-term commitment to MARS ATTACKS in the form of an ongoing comic book series, and this unique project is an extension of that,” said Ira Friedman, Topps VP of Publishing and Licensing.  

Greg Goldstein, President of IDW Publishing, continued, “We’ve been hard at work preparing our new comic series since last fall, and a live stage production was the logical next step in expanding our partnership.  This will be a ferocious, seat-of-your-pants musical that will engage audiences—a jaw-dropping extravaganza unlike anything theatre-goers have seen before.”

The musical, to be titled Mars Attacks: 21st Century Slaughter, will be written and produced by comics veteran John Layman, and set in the same continuity as the comic book that he is authoring.  His story, adapted for the stage, chronicles the modern-day invasion of Earth by grotesque aliens from Mars, who utilize giant insects, killer robots and a variety of stunning death rays to conquer the planet.

“Ever since I saw The Sound of Music as a youngster living in New York I have dreamed of a career on Broadway, and I’m very excited to be branching out into theatre,” said Layman.  “My approach to MARS ATTACKS on stage is sort of a science fiction version of West Side Story: a human and a Martian involved in a star-crossed romance, set against the backdrop of a violent interstellar war—with all of humanity caught in between!  It’s going to be a rollicking good time, with songs that will make you want to get up and dance!”

Mars Attacks: 21st Century Slaughter is scheduled for rehearsals later this year with a Broadway debut planned for 2013.  Topps and IDW are in negotiations with a high-profile director/songwriter team and are currently seeking a seven-foot tall male lead with extensive rock vocal experience.

IDW’s comic book series “Mars Attacks” launches this June.  Topps will release a commemorative card set this July.   For more information on Mars Attacks, follow their Facebook page:

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  1. The NYC theater scene has been heading in this general direction for quite a few years now.
    There’s been dozens of shows with a campy sci fi/horror feel, figured one of the big producers were bound to notice eventually and try to put one together.

  2. A very clever April Fool’s joke, and I’m surprised at how many are falling for it.

    If it’s real, why isn’t a legit theatre producer’s name connected to it?

    Why is it nobody outside of the comics/card trade press mentions it?

    And one more giveaway…“Ever since I saw The Sound of Music as a youngster living in New York I have dreamed of a career on Broadway…” said Layman.
    Layman was born in 1969.
    The Sound of Music was staged on Broadway twice…in 1959-63 (before he was born) and 1998-99 (when he was 30, hardly a “youngster”)