MGM develops musical 'Valley Girl'

Soundtrack to feature reimagined classic '80s music

"Like, gag me with a dance number ..."

Yes, MGM, as part of its aggressive reharvesting of its back catalog, is developing a musical feature version of the 1983 comedy "Valley Girl." And it's, like, totally raiding the old '80s cassettes for the songbook.

Idealogy's Sean Bailey and Matt Smith delivered the novel twist on the cult comedy. Bailey will produce, Smith will executive produce. MGM vp production Becky Sloviter will oversee the project for the studio.

Martha Coolidge directed the original gnarly laffer about the mixed-clique relationship between a punk (Nicolas Cage) and a Valley girl (Deborah Foreman). It was written and produced by Wayne Crawford and Andrew Lane, and it showcased a distinctive New Wave soundtrack that included Modern English and the Psychedelic Furs.

The year before it hit theaters, Frank Zappa released a hit song called "Valley Girl" that featured his 14-year-old daughter Moon Unit spouting the San Fernando Valley lingo. (Zappa later tried to sue the production, but lost.) The stereotype of the spoiled, slangy blonde illustrated by the movie lived on in everything from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" to Cher in "Clueless" and Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde."

The update will graft the Romeo and Juliet-style narrative of the original into a musical colored by reimagined classic '80s tunes.

While MGM has been developing a remake of "Fame," this marks the first foray into musical terrain for new worldwide motion picture group chairman Mary Parent. Though it might be a strain to imagine this effort on the shelf next to classic MGM musicals "An American in Paris," "Singin' in the Rain" and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," such modern musical hybrids as "Moulin Rouge" and "Once" have updated the potential appeal of the old format.

Bailey, a "Project Greenlight" veteran, most recently produced Ben Affleck's directorial debut, "Gone Baby Gone," for Miramax. He also has "Tron" sequel, "Sabbatical" and "Liberty" in development at Buena Vista. Idealogy is repped by Endeavor.
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