'Bombshell' Director Jay Roach Is Secretly Writing an "Epic" Musical

The helmer says he's been quietly working on a Busby Berkeley-style project that will be "spectacle-oriented."
Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic

Jay Roach has a secret project up his sleeve, and it's got nothing to do with politics.

The 62-year-old Bombshell director — whose previous ripped-from-the-headlines films that have mined the mix of politics, media and scandal include Recount, Game Change and Trumbo — tells Rambling Reporter that he's been quietly at work on, of all things, a musical. 

“I have a musical I've really been working really hard on behind the scenes,” Roach explains, adding that he grew up as a student of films by choreographer-turned-director Busby Berkeley, who specialized in elaborate musical numbers in films like 1934’s DamesGold Diggers of 1935, 1939’s They Made Me a Criminal and 1943’s The Gang’s All Here

“I really enjoyed the big set pieces we got to do in some of the early comedies that I did,” Roach says, referencing the Austin Powers and Meet the Parents franchises. “They seem so blown out of proportion when you think of it compared to these small, intimate dramas I've been doing. I want to now do an epic, spectacle-oriented comedy musical.”

Roach confirms that he’s already writing it, something “I haven’t done in a while,” and his plan is to finish it while prepping his limited series 67 Shots, about the fatal shootings at Kent State University in 1970 when unarmed students were fired upon by the Ohio National Guard during a protest against the U.S. bombings in Cambodia.

Still, he sounds determined. "It's my moonlighting job," he says. "I'll be chirping away and singing to myself trying to get it done."

A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.