When it was announced that series director Jon Favreau would be succeeded by Shane Black on Iron Man 3 (though Favreau will reprise his role as Happy Hogan), fans wondered what project the director would turn to next. Would Marvel select Favreau to jumpstart another superhero franchise? Or would he focus on his much-talked-about Magic Kingdom film for Disney?
The answer, it seems, is none of the above. According to Variety, Favreau is the frontrunner to helm the film adaptation of the hit musical Jersey Boys, which opened on Broadway in 2005 to much critical acclaim and a Tony Award for Best Musical.
The story tackles the rise of 1960s pop music group The Four Seasons and tells its biographical tale through the group’s signature tunes, including "Sherry," "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" and "Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You." Four Seasons vocalists Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio will executive produce the film, to be scripted by John Logan (Hugo, Skyfall).
In addition to Iron Man and its 2010 sequel, Favreau took the reins on last summer’s sci-fi actioner Cowboys & Aliens. That film, which grossed just $100 million domestically against a $163 million budget, was a critical and financial disappointment, which puts Favreau in the perfect position to try his hand at something new.
Plus, if there were ever an ideal time to move this project along, it’s now. Anticipation is already high for this month’s release of Rock of Ages and the upcoming Les Miserables. Like those films, Jersey Boys will benefit from having a built-in audience from the stage production, and like Rock of Ages, it makes use of well-known pop songs (take that, Glee!).
If Favreau handles the film just right, there’s even a chance that the film – with its period setting and a handful of juicy leading roles – could become a serious awards contender, lending Favreau even more credibility for future projects.
We’ll keep you posted as further details develop on the film version of Jersey Boys.