Adam Shankman hit it big with his movie-turned Broadway musical-turned movie Hairspray and hopes to repeat that act with his cinematic adaptation of Rock of Ages, a stage musical that does for 80s rock what Mamma Mia! did for ABBA tunes – so to speak.
Word has it that Tom Cruise is on the verge of signing on for Shankman’s latest musical, which could also star the likes of Alec Baldwin and Gwyneth Paltrow – alongside the film’s only official cast member so far, musical artist and Precious songwriter, Mary J. Blige.
Rock of Ages is a successful Broadway stage rock musical that could be referred to as the anti-Rent, since the former is lighter in tone and deals with far less serious subject matter. The show’s plot revolves around a world-famous rock club called the… Rock of Ages club that is at risk of being shut down by greedy developers. On the surface, it’s a storyline very similar to that of this year’s
baffling surprise Golden Globe-nominee, Burlesque – albeit Rock of Ages is generally acknowledged as being more of an intentionally comedic musical.
Risky Business says that Cruise has been approached to star in Rock of Ages as Stacee Jaxx, an arrogant but charming (rock) superstar who has reached the high point of his career – a role that will surely be a stretch for the aging A-lister (wink wink, nudge nudge).
Baldwin could potentially costar alongside Cruise as Dennis Dupree, an ex-rocker who runs the Rock of Ages club. Paltrow has been gathering accolades of late for her musically-inclined appearance on Glee and turn in the pic Country Strong; she may also appear in Rock of Ages as a Rolling Stone reporter.
People tend to either love or loath musicals, but Rock of Ages features songs by the likes of Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Journey, Poison, Styx, and Twisted Sister – that alone could attract the attention of moviegoers who tend to roll their eyes and tune out whenever characters break out into song and dance onscreen.
Shankman’s big screen version of Hairspray was a surprisingly colorful and energetic romp that featured some catchy tunes and sick choreography to boot (especially the dance number between John Travolta and Christopher Walken ;-)). We’ll have to wait and see if he can repeat that act with his new cinematic musical.
We’ll keep you posted on the development of Rock of Ages as more information comes our way.