That collective sigh you heard earlier today was the reaction of thousands of theater queens worldwide (this one included) reacting to the news that Jake Gyllenhaal is set to star as Joe Hardy in a new movie version of Damn Yankees.
Variety reports that Gyllenhaal will join Jim Carrey (as Mr. Applegate) in a Hollywood remake of the classic Richard Adler and Jerry Ross musical. Apparently, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron ("Chicago," "Hairspray") have been working for a few years on the project, and after numerous machinations have received the greenlight from New Line Cinema. The plan is to get a screenplay draft together (from Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel) before shopping the project around to prospective directors, as well as Lola candidates.
I think it's safe to say at this point that the movie musical genre is officially mainstream again. This has been years in the making, of course, but it's interesting to note that it's no longer news in itself that Hollywood is making musicals. We're back to talking about the individual projects rather than the resurrection of the genre. Of course, that's great, but I think we all know that it's only going to last as long as the projects continue to make money.
On a related note, Rob Marshall's film version of "Nine" will reportedly hit theaters in November. Now, I'm as excited as the next TQ about this movie. (Although I would have been a lot more excited if Javier Bardem had stuck with the project.) And the cast is certainly chockablock with familiar, Oscar-winning faces (Daniel Day Lewis, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren). But is anyone else out there as skeptical as I am about "Nine" and its mainstream appeal? Please don't get me wrong: I *love* this musical. But I have a really hard time conceptualizing its potential audience.