Jersey Boys Affleck

Briefly: Warner Bros. has just given release dates to two upcoming Oscar hopefuls. Clint Eastwood‘s musical adaptation of the hit Broadway show, Jersey Boys, will be released next summer, on June 20, 2014.

Ben Affleck‘s follow-up to Argo, the Dennis Lehane adaptation Live By Night, will be released December 25, 2015. That means he’ll shoot it after playing Batman in Batman vs. Superman, which has a release date set for five months prior to the new Live By Night date. You can read more about the projects at those links.

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Clint Eastwood

Bradley Cooper‘s American Sniper suffered a blow when director Steven Spielberg dropped out earlier this month, but now it’s getting back on track with another high-profile filmmaker. Clint Eastwood is circling in the Navy SEAL biopic, which is set up at Warner Bros. Get the details after the jump.

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Christopher Walken

Having grossed over a billion dollars across the globe as a musical, one might think the title Jersey Boys alone is enough to sell a film adaptation. That’s likely part of why director Clint Eastwood is casting the lead roles of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with performers from the various stage productions.

But this is Hollywood and stars make a movie, so Eastwood will be filling out the supporting roles with bigger names. First up, Christopher Walken will join the cast as mobster Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo, who helps the singers keep their career straight early on.

As for those leads, Deadline – who broke the Walken news – say they’re gone to Vincent Piazza, John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen and Michael Lomenda.

jersey-boys-broadway

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.

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jersey-boys-broadway

The musical has struggled to find new life over the past decade. Glee and similar TV shows may find success, and the occasional film, such as Chicago or Les Miserables, rises to prominence, but for the most part the musical remains a tough sell. Just look at the recent Oscar attempt to highlight great musicals of the last decade, which cast a spotlight on a bare handful of films.

Clint Eastwood, who once played an unlikely part in the comedy western musical Paint Your Wagon, and is known for composing the music for many of his films, has been trying to mount a new musical version of A Star is Born. That had momentum when Beyonce was attached, but stalled out when the singer exited the project.

Now Eastwood is reportedly turning to another musical: the big-screen version of Jersey Boys. The film would adapt the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical about the rise to fame of the classic group Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons. Jon Favreau was developing the film, but it was put into turnaround by Warner Bros. last year. Ironically, if Eastwood signs on, Warners, which houses his production company, may be back on board.

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Even as the male lead of Warner Bros.’ A Star is Born remake has become a revolving door of high-profile celebs, female lead Beyoncé Knowles has remained steadfast in her commitment to the role. In fact, Knowles’ involvement predates director Clint Eastwood‘s. Eastwood didn’t board until early 2011, by which point the pop star had been attached for at least a year.

Apparently, however, even she’s grown tired of waiting for it to get off the ground. Knowles has just left the long-gestating musical, leaving it with no stars and no start date. Read on after the jump.

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Beyonce‘s been attached to the remake of A Star is Born since even before Clint Eastwood signed on to direct in January 2011, but in that time the male lead’s been a revolving door of A-list talent. Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler, Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, and Tom Cruise have all been rumored or attached at various points, and now joining that club is Bradley Cooper.

It doesn’t sound like actual negotiations have begun at this point, but Cooper is said to be weighing an actual offer. Cooper’s worked with some interesting directors over the past couple of years, including David O. Russell, Derek Cianfrance, and Susanne Bier, and an Eastwood movie could be a nice feather in his cap. Plus, it’ll give him a chance to stretch — don’t you want to see Cooper doing his best Kurt Cobain? [THR]

After the jump, Robocop adds yet another Oscar nominee, and China may have had something to do with Total Recall‘s weirdly Asian vision of Australia.

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The Expendables 2 is about to hit theaters, and it sees the action all-star roster of the first film bolstered with new additions such as Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme, and bigger roles for Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Producers are already cooking up plans for a third film, and in an interview to promote the first sequel producer Avi Lerner threw out some names that we might expect to see in the next old-age go around. Nicolas Cage is reportedly set for a role, and Lerner is trying to lock down some much bigger names, like Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford. Read More »

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