[caption id="attachment_150529" align="alignleft" width="220"] Lionsgate[/caption]
Christopher Walken is no stranger to musicals. He has a long history in musical theater, but didn't get to express himself musically (with much recognition) until very recently: first in Spike Jonze's immortal video for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" and then in the big screen version of the Broadway show "Hairspray" (which itself was a remake of John Waters' original movie).
But he'll get the chance to show his fancy footwork and utilize those pipes (we hope), as the star has just been cast in Clint Eastwood's big screen version of insanely popular Broadway musical "Jersey Boys," which tells the inspirational story of pop icons Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
According to the notice, Walken will play ""Angelo 'Gyp' DeCarlo, the Jersey mobster who, in the show, served an unofficial consigliere role to the young singers as they tried to build their careers without falling into the grip of organized crime." Sounds delightful! (We saw the show but can barely remember anything about it, besides having "Who Loves You" stuck in our head for 18 months afterwards.)
Walken will be surrounded by honest-to-god Broadway stars in the play — Vincent Piazza, John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, and Michael Lomenda have all made the cut as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. All of his young costars have extensive Broadway experience and most of them have starred in one version of "Jersey Boys" or another. Your move, Walken.
For those playing at home, the musical was originally being mounted by former "Iron Man" overseer Jon Favreau. Warner Bros. balked at the budget Favreau proposed, based on a script by the fabulous John Logan, so the studio shelved the project. Along came Eastwood — who probably made out to his fare share of Frankie Valli songs — a filmmaker known for having his movies come in on time and under budget, who rescued the project and got things moving. At this rate, Eastwood will be able to shoot this year (or possibly early next year) and "Jersey Boys," depending on its quality, could be a big Oscar contender and go head-to-head with other big musicals "Annie" and "Into the Woods," both of which are planned for Christmas 2014.