Carrey and Gyllenhaal to Star in Big Screen Damn Yankees; Zadan, Meron & New Line to Produce
Variety.com is reporting that New Line Cinema and the top notch producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have selected their next musical film project, a contemporized version of the classic musical Damn Yankees.
Starring in the film will be Jim Carrey as the Devil, and Jake Gyllenhaal as Boyd/Joe Hardy, both making their musical debuts. Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel are set to write the script.
They tell Variety that "The trick is finding a balance that retains the show's classic tunes like "(You Gotta Have) Heart" and "Whatever Lola Wants," while injecting a contemporary feel on a musical that is firmly rooted in the 1950s. The intention is to get a script from Ganz and Mandel before meeting directors, and actresses who'll want to play Lola."
Damn Yankees has music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and is based on Wallop's novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant." It is the story of Joe Boyd, the ultimate baseball fan, who sells his soul to the Devil for the chance to help his team win the pennant race against the Yankees. The Devil is aided by the sexy Lola, who seduces a now younger, physically transformed Joe, but ultimately helps him outsmart the Devil and return to his beloved wife.
Zadan and Meron have collaborated on countless successful projects including the recent "Hairspray" film, the made for television "A Raisin in the Sun", the Oscar winning film "Chicago", and a recent collaboration with Lifetime on the film "Living Proof" featuring Rene Zellweger, Harry Connick, Jr. and Bernadette Peters.
In 2007 they were honored with the Hollywood Film Festival's producers of the year award.
Last year the talented producing duo were honored by the The Casting Society of America with career achievement awards at the 24th Annual Artios Awards.
CBS has greenlit a dramatic pilot produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. "Back," from Zadan and Meron's Storyline Entertainment, centers on a man "who disappeared in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- but who suddenly shows up, eight years later. The pilot follows the man as he reconnects with his family and adjusts to a world that has dramatically changed".
Zadan and Meron will also be producing the upcoming series Drop Dead Diva for Lifetime Television, a spirited new comedic drama series that puts a uniquely compelling twist on the age-old battle between brains and beauty.