With a planned remake of A Star Is Born stymied by casting issues, Clint Eastwood is close to moving his attention to his next project. And another music-based project might be his choice.
Word has spread around Hollywood that the legendary filmmaker has set his sights on an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys. Multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Eastwood is in talks with production entity GK Films and Warner Bros. to take on the high-profile project, though neither the studio nor the production company or Eastwood’s reps would confirm the negotiations.
Based on the mega-hit Tony-winning musical, the story chronicles the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and the group’s eventual breakup.
Jon Favreau (Iron Man) had been attached to direct the big-screen adaptation, which originally was set up at Columbia Pictures. Producer Graham King moved the project to Warner Bros. in September after he inked a first-look deal with the studio. But six weeks later, Warners put Jersey Boys in turnaround.
Sources say there were some conversations with Fox, but now that Eastwood is in the picture, the project could be heading back to Warners.
Eastwood, whose most recent film as director was 2011’s J. Edgar (he starred in and produced but did not direct September’s Trouble With the Curve), has long been looking to bring A Star Is Born back to the big screen. Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding is the current choice to star, but that project is having difficulty casting a male lead, with a number of stars passing (Sean Penn‘s name being the latest to surface).
Insiders say Eastwood would look to direct Jersey Boys, then follow with Star Is Born.
The musical genre appears to be alive and well in Hollywood, with a several hits spawned in 2012, including Les Miserables and Pitch Perfect, the latter of which has a sequel in development.
Jersey Boys — with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice — opened on Broadway in 2005 and won four Tony Awards, including best musical. John Logan (Hugo) adapted the screenplay. The soundtrack would boast such jukebox favorites as “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Sherry” and “Rag Doll.”
Valli and Gaudio are serving as executive producers.
Eastwood is repped by Leonard Hirshan and Gang Tyer Ramer & Brown.
Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Borys.Kit@THR.com; Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27, @Borys_Kit