Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 by Angie Han
Though the odd stage actor may make it into a movie musical here and there (e.g., Samantha Barks in Les Misérables), for the most part film versions of stage musicals tend to feature a correspondingly cinematic cast (e.g., everyone else in Les Misérables). But Clint Eastwood apparently wants to buck that trend.
According to a new report, the director is eyeing theater stars for his big-screen adaptation of Jersey Boys. Specifically, he’s looking at the actors from the various productions of Jersey Boys from around the world. A-listers looking for their next bit of Oscar bait are gonna be so disappointed. More on Eastwood’s idea, including potential advantages and drawbacks, after he jump.
Deadline got the scoop on Eastwood’s plans. For the moment, though, that’s all they are — it doesn’t sound like he’s locked in any leads just yet. The unusual approach comes with both positive and negative factors. On the one hand, Eastwood could theoretically assemble solid cast for (relatively) cheap. He’d be drawing from proven talents already familiar with the source material, and paying them less than he would a top-shelf movie star to boot.
On the other hand, saving money won’t do much good if the film can’t make money, and having some well-known Hollywood names attached can be really helpful when it comes time to sell the movie to the viewing public. In that case, Jersey Boys itself would arguably be the big marquee name. The jukebox musical has proven immensely popular with general audiences and critics alike, earning over $1 billion in sales to date.
Eastwood isn’t the first filmmaker to consider filling the cast of Jersey Boys with relative unknowns. (Well, unknown to movie watchers, anyway.) Jon Favreau put out an open casting call for the four leads back when he was attached to direct. Featuring fresh faces would arguably be a better fit for the story’s themes anyway — the plot follows Franki Valli and the Four Seasons’ rise from obscure local band to rock ‘n’ roll sensation.