Will "Dreamgirls" be this year's "Grease"? Director Bill Condon, who brings the Broadway musical to the big screen this Christmas, hopes its trajectory will mirror that of the popular stage play-turne

Will "Dreamgirls" be this year's "Grease"? Director Bill Condon, who brings the Broadway musical to the big screen this Christmas, hopes its trajectory will mirror that of the popular stage play-turned-movie starring a then wildly popular John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The film, which stars Beyonce, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy, opens Dec. 21 in U.S. theatres; the soundtrack arrives this week via Sony Urban.

"'Grease' was one of the last movies where contemporary pop artists were also in the movie and the movie's songs were mainstream pop hits," says Condon, who directed the Academy Award-winning film version of "Chicago." "We hope 'Dreamgirls' echoes back to those times. It will be interesting to see but I hope this crosses over to everybody."

"We searched to find exactly how to achieve the balance between respecting the original songs and the time period [1962-1975] while updating the material for today's audience," says producer Harvey Mason Jr. of the Underdogs, who spearheaded the music.

Condon cites new song "Patience" as a prime example. "Hearing that Marvin Gaye-like song grow into a moving big track under their guidance shows how brilliant they were at shaping the music dramatically but still keeping within the storyline."

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