Adam Shankman’s new Broadway musical adaptation Rock of Ages will begin filming in a matter of months, and now has both Tom Cruise as well as Alec Baldwin as cast members. Russell Brand is reportedly still circling the project, and may sign on in the near future as well.
Also starring in the ’80s jukebox song-and-dance flick are the likes of the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul,” Mary J. Blige, and actress Julianne Hough – the latter of whom will be appearing in the upcoming Footloose remake as well.
Shankman tweeted that all the previously-named talents (sans Brand) are officially starring in Rock of Ages, and indicated that more significant casting news would be soon to come. The role of the film’s protagonist, wannabe rock star Drew Bowie (get the reference?), is the most significant part that has yet to be filled.
Rock of Ages takes place circa 1987, and revolves around The Bourbon Room – a popular Hollywood club in danger of being shut down by a local politician who aims to modernize the Sunset Strip. Hough is staring as Sherrie, a waitress with big dreams who works at the Bourbon Room, which is run by the aging Dennis Dupree (Baldwin).
Cruise will play the fading rock legend Stacee Jaxx, who’s brought in by Mr. Dupree to put on a show-stopping performance that’ll hopefully raise enough money to save The Bourbon Room from being destroyed. Blige is set to appear as Justice, the owner of a rival club who offers Sherrie some words of advice after the young girl is (for lack of a better description) used and tossed aside by Jaxx.
While Rock of Ages may read like a conventional story about young people becoming disillusioned as they search for fame, the original Broadway musical is much more comedic and self-aware than last year’s similar-sounding title, Burlesque (which also starred Hough, coincidentally enough). Chris D’Arienzo wrote the original Rock of Ages music book, and penned the screenplay – which Shankman and Iron Man 2 scriber Justin Theroux have been doing polish work on – so the film adaptation should maintain much of the same humor as the play.
Musicals tend to appeal to only certain moviegoers, and the prospect of listening to stars like Cruise or Baldwin belt out 1980s rock tunes might not sound all-too-promising for some. It’s also a shame Anne Hathaway doesn’t look to be starring in Rock of Ages anymore, since she proved she has quite the lovely singing voice at the 2011 Oscars ceremony.
On the other hand, it’s been a few years since there was a notable addition to the musical genre, so demand from fans may be fairly high right now. Shankman’s Hairspray adaptation went over well and was a box office hit in its own right, so perhaps Rock of Ages can do likewise.
Rock of Ages begins principal photography this May.
Source: Adam Shankman