Director Adam Shankman was mingling with reporters on the red carpet at last night’s 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony and took the chance to confirm that Tom Cruise is officially onboard for his Rock of Ages adaptation, several months after the A-lister was originally approached to appear in the musical pic.
Cruise’s involvement with Rock of Ages was assumed to be an all but done deal a few weeks back, but now his set-in-stone status should only help to attract other potential big names that’ve been circling the ’80s jukebox musical.
Shankman spoke with Access Hollywood just last week about Cruise’s feverish research and preparation for the role of aging and arrogant “rock n’ roll god” Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages; the film may also feature the talents of Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin as well. According to Shankman, however, Gwyneth Paltrow is out of the running due to a scheduling conflict.
Rock of Ages takes place back in 1987, as a local politician and a pair of land developers conspire to clean up the Sunset Strip and decimate a beloved Hollywood club called The Bourbon Room. Baldwin may star as club owner Dennis Dupree, who hatches a scheme to get the recently broken-up band, Arsenal – headlined by Cruise’s Stacee Jaxx – to perform their last show at The Bourbon and generate enough revenue to fend off the encroaching forces.
Deadline reported earlier this month that last night’s Oscar co-host Anne Hathaway is in talks to join Rock of Ages. The Oscar-nominated actress would presumably play Sherrie, a small-town girl and love interest for the musical’s true protagonist, aspiring rocker Drew Bowie. Things of course become complicated for the pair when Sherrie (unaware of Drew’s true intentions) interviews Cruise’s character, only to end up in bed with the elder star after the two perform a duet of “I Want To Know What Love Is.” But hey, who hasn’t done that? We kid, we kid…
It’ll be tricky for Hathaway to join Rock of Ages, seeing how it’s tentatively scheduled to begin production around the same time that Christopher Nolan plans to star shooting The Dark Knight Rises. Taylor Swift was rumored to be a possible contender for the role of Sherrie several months ago, but nothing seemingly ever came of that. Expect to hear about someone officially landing the role sooner rather than later.
The plot for Rock of Ages in part recalls that of last year’s musical, Burlesque, but the pic as a whole is more similar to a variation on the 1995 cult classic, Empire Records – albeit, with more song & dance numbers and minus the colorful collection of ’90s era teen hipsters. Rock of Ages is a fairly comedic show itself, so it’s fitting that Shankman (Hairspray) will direct and choreograph the musical sequences, while Toy Story 3 scriber Michael Arndt is handling screenwriting duties.
Rock of Ages is tentatively slated to begin filming this May, and could potentially make it into theaters by the end of 2011 – so stay tuned to learn more.
Source: Coming Soon