Are there any classic musical fans out there, I mean the ones that came out of studios like MGM, and Fox before 1970, yeah– the ones that usually housed a ballet somewhere in the middle, and gender stereotypes that we should all acknowledge, but take the high road over, because debating the apron strings on Ginger Rogers really isn’t productive, or helpful in the long run, unless you are in fact taking a gender studies course that uses classic films as teaching tools? Well, if you’re not, hold onto your butts, because a major player in The Hunger Games franchise family has just landed a job to top all jobs! Yep, Danny Strong has signed on the dotted line to pen the screenplay for the new adaptation of the classic Frank Loesser musical, Guys and Dolls. Most famously Guys and Dolls was adapted from the stage, and done by MGM in 1955, and it starred big, huge, massive names– uh huh, Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. Seriously, if you don’t know those two men’s names, you need to hit Netflix and iTunes so hard it’ll “hurt so good.”
I was raised on classic musicals like Guys and Dolls, so when I read this news I let out a little yelp of joy. Musicals are sort of having a renaissance if you really think about it, especially since 2009 when Fox put Glee on its line up. Sure, there are Glee haters, but you gotta give credit where credit is due, and that series brought classic musicals into people’s living rooms all over the world, and for many of those people it was the first time anything that originated on Broadway was seen by them. I think that’s a good thing, because if you forget the past, you’re pretty much an empty shell, and will fall into a hole, and start thinking that Britney Spears is where music started and ends, which it clearly does not. But like I said above, a renaissance is happening, and it’s continuing on in an interesting fashion, starting with Les Miserables last December, and just this month The Sound of Music was done live on TV and watched by millions of people. The hints have been taken, the ratings numbers, and the awards nominations as well as wins, and the box office tallies are being factored in as they should be, so it’s should be no surprise that Hollywood is reaching into the past and trying to shake off the cob webs on the material that made them what they are today.
I’m no big proponent of the so-called remake, but adapting a musical that originated on the stage, and then was adapted only once before on film is not a remake in my eyes. A remake is a flagrant ploy to make money, like Footloose was, or Carrie, Guys and Dolls will be a vehicle for talent– not a red-faced, screaming, money-making scheme. Names have already been thrown out there for the leads as well, and they’re not people to laugh at in the talent department, because they are appropriately people like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Channing Tatum, two young actors who have proven their singing, dancing, and acting abilities for more than a decade. If those two names combined don’t work out, I’d be hard pressed to believe Ryan Gosling wouldn’t have his name thrown into the Hamburg or Fedora hat, or hey… reach across the pond there are a bevy of trained actors making it on the West End, the BBC and ITV, some of them are even dipping their toes into HBO.
So, give Danny Strong a round of applause, and kindly watch the clip below!
Them There Eyes