Jon Favreau Officially in Talks to Direct JERSEY BOYS; Stephen Daldry Eyed for WICKED

     July 12, 2012


News concerning two highly anticipated movie musicals has landed online.  First up, Jon Favreau was reported as being the frontrunner to take the helm on producer Graham King’s feature film adaptation of the smash hit stage musical Jersey Boys early last month.  Now Deadline reports that Favreau has officially entered negotiations to bring the show to the big screen, and he actually seems like an inspired choice.  For those unaware, the documentary-style musical tells the story of The Four Seasons, chronicling the group’s rise in the 1960s with such hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man.”  It’s a ridiculously crowd-pleasing show but it’s also realistic and candid as far as the portrayal of the group’s ups and downs go.

John Logan (Hugo) wrote the latest draft of Jersey Boys and the film is a high prirority for GK Films.  Favreau is also developing Magic Kingdom and Disney, but I’d imagine Jersey Boys will likely be his next feature.  Hit the jump for news concerning the feature film iteration of Wicked.

stephen-daldry-wickedAdditionally, The Reader and The Hours director Stephen Daldry looks to be the man Universal has pegged to helm the highly anticipated adaptation of the stage musical Wicked.  The Broadway show is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, and is itself an adaptation of the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.  The property is quite different than Sam Raimi’s big screen Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful, as Wicked focuses on the story of two unlikely friends who grow up to become the Wicked Witch o the West and Glinda the Good Witch.

Wicked is an incredible musical, and it’s no surprise that the film has been a highly sought-after property over the years.  Back in the summer of 2010, directors such as J.J. Abrams, James Mangold, Ryan Murphy and Rob Marshall were apparently being considered to take the helm, but Deadline now reports that Universal is courting Daldry for the gig.  He’s a bit of an outside-the-box choice, as his credits veer more into the “heavy drama” side of things.  That said, his last feature, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, was a slight tonal departure, and he previously expressed great interest in adapting the period comic book centered property The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay as a television miniseries.

I’d actually really like to see Daldry step way outside the box and bring Wicked to the big screen.  There’s a lot of fun to be had in the musical, but I feel like Daldry could bring siginifcant weight to the story’s more dramatic material and “the path to evil” themes.  He hasn’t officially signed on so nothing’s certain, but it’s nice to see Universal finally making moves on this property after years in development.


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