Given that “Les Miersables” has provided studios $430 million reasons to start putting musicals in development, it may be surprising that there hasn’t really been much movement on that front. Well, that’s because the genre tends to be expensive, and for every “Les Miserables” there’s something like “Nine,” a big, gaudy disappointment. But an established property certainly helps things move along, and it looks like “Jersey Boys” — put into turnaround last fall at Warner Bros. — may still be alive with a pretty big name kicking the tires.
THR reports that Clint Eastwood is in talks to take on the project, with Warner Bros once again showing interest in the movie. The filmmaker has been trying to get his “A Star Is Born” remake going for the past couple of years, but it hit a roadblock with Beyonce exiting the movie in October. Esperenza Spaulding is now Eastwood’s choice to star, but since casting a male lead has been difficult, he’s looking to make “Jersey Boys” first before taking on “A Star Is Born.”
Based on the popular and acclaimed stage show, with a script by John Logan (“Hugo,” “Skyfall“), the musical tells the tale of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, documenting the rise and fall of the successful rock ‘n’ roll group of the 1960s, one of the best-selling bands of all time. The Broadway show won four Tony awards, and it’s easy to see the appeal when the soundtrack would feature tunes like “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”
Previously slated to be directed by Jon Favreau, there was uncertainty over the casting as he wanted to go with smaller names in the leads, while the studio wanted some faces that would help justify the budget. John Magaro, Dominic Cooper, Vincent Piazza, Paul Dano and James Badge Dale were apparently all under consideration, but no word yet on if they’re still on the radar or if Eastwood would even be interested.
So we’ll see, but it looks like Eastwood — a longtime music fan and jazz aficionado (who helmed the biopic “Bird”) — may get to scratch his full blown musical itch just yet.