Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Jersey Boys (2014) The Casting and Pre-Production

With a release date of June 20th now announced by Warner Bros, I felt it was time to create a dedicated page for Clint’s new movie. So how did Jersey Boys become Clint’s next project? Well, Clint was working hard in the early half of 2013, specifically to bring a new version of A Star is Born to the screen, however pre-production turned out to be rather troublesome. Singing superstar Beyoncé was set to play the lead role (made famous by Barbra Streisand in the last screen version from 1976). Unfortunately, scheduling issues meant that Beyoncé was unable to commit to the project. She told E! News. 
'I was looking forward to the production of A Star Is Born and the opportunity to work with Clint Eastwood. For months we tried to coordinate our schedules to bring this remake to life but it was just not possible. Hopefully in the future we will get a chance to work together.'   
Bradley Cooper was also linked to the movie, but eventually the project was put on hold. Clint, (not known as a person to hang around), decided to push on with pre-production of Jersey Boys.
JOHN LLOYD YOUNG as Frankie Valli, ERICH BERGEN as Bob Gaudio, VINCENT PIAZZA as Tommy DeVito and MICHAEL LOMENDA as Nick Massi : A Warner Bros. Pictures release.
It was around April of 2013 that reports first began to emerge. The Hollywood Reporter stated:
Sources say the veteran director is looking to push back his "A Star Is Born" remake and focus on the 1960s-set film based on the mega-hit musical. With a planned remake of A Star Is Born stymied by casting issues, Clint Eastwood is close to moving his attention to his next project. And another music-based project might be his choice.
Word has spread around Hollywood that the legendary film-maker has set his sights on an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys. Multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Eastwood is in talks with production entity GK Films and Warner Bros. to take on the high-profile project, though neither the studio nor the production company or Eastwood's reps would confirm the negotiations.
Based on the mega-hit Tony-winning musical, the story chronicles the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and the group's eventual breakup.
Jon Favreau (Iron Man) had been attached to direct the big-screen adaptation, which originally was set up at Columbia Pictures. Producer Graham King moved the project to Warner Bros. in September after he inked a first-look deal with the studio. But six weeks later, Warners put Jersey Boys in turnaround.
Sources say there were some conversations with TC Fox, but now that Eastwood is in the picture, the project could be heading back to Warners.
Eastwood, whose most recent film as director was 2011's J. Edgar (he starred in and produced but did not direct September's Trouble with the Curve), has long been looking to bring A Star Is Born back to the big screen. Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding is the current choice to star, but that project is having difficulty casting a male lead, with a number of stars passing (Sean Penn's name being the latest to surface). Insiders say Eastwood would look to direct Jersey Boys, then follow with Star Is Born.

Clint Eastwood Eyes Tony Winner John Lloyd Young for Jersey Boys 

On July 18th, 2013, Ryan Gilbert of Broadway Buzz reported:
Director Clint Eastwood has begun the casting process for his previously reported film adaptation of Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons’ rise from obscure local band to rock ‘n’ roll sensation. According to Variety, Eastwood and producer Graham King are hoping to sign up Tony winner John Lloyd Young as well as Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and Boardwalk Empire actor Vincent Piazza for the film. The four actors have yet to be officially offered roles, but Warner Brothers is reportedly in discussions with Eastwood and King over the potential casting. Young would play Frankie Valli on screen, the role that nabbed him the 2006 Best Actor in a Musical Tony Award, Bergen previously played the role of Bob Gaudio in the Las Vegas production of Jersey Boys and Lomenda would play Nick Massi, a role he previously played on the national tour of the show. Piazza would play Tommy DeVito, the role that won original star Christian Hoff a Featured Actor in a Musical Tony Award.

Christopher Walken To Play Mobster Gyp DeCarlo In Clint Eastwood’s ‘Jersey Boys’

July 23rd, 2013 Deadline.com  By MIKE FLEMING JR
Director Clint Eastwood has set Christopher Walken to star in Jersey Boys, the Warner Bros and GK Films feature adaptation of the hit stage musical. Walken will play the role of 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. The film was scripted by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and production begins mid-September in Los Angeles. Graham King and Rob Lorenz are producing and Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio are the exec producers. The Tony-winning stage musical has grossed more than $1 billion for all its incarnations. Deadline revealed that Eastwood was not going to cast major stars to play the young singers but rather select them from the various casts taking the stage nightly. Reports are that Eastwood chose Vincent Piazza, John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, and Michael Lomenda. Walken will be the first of several stars who’ll add some name recognition to the production.

Donnie Kehr, Joins Cast of Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys Film

On August 5th 2013 Adam Hetrick and Andrew Gans of Playbill announced:
Donnie Kehr, who originated the role of Norm Waxman in the Broadway production of Jersey Boys, will recreate his performance in Clint Eastwood's film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical.

Erich Bergen Cast as Bob Gaudio in Clint Eastwood’s ‘Jersey Boys’; Two More Join Cast

On August 8, 2013 JEN YAMATO of Deadline reported:
The Jersey Boys movie has cast its Bob Gaudio and they’ve plucked him right off the stage. Erich Bergen will reprise his role of the Four Seasons singer in the film after playing Gaudio in the Tony-winning Broadway show’s first national tour and onstage in LA and Las Vegas.
Erich Bergen

Clint Eastwood‘s Jersey Boys adaptation keeps filling out the cast of its jukebox musical cast. Deadline hears that Mike Doyle (Shameless, A Gifted Man, Law & Order: SVU) has closed a deal to play Bob Crewe, the music producer who helps mould Frankie Valli and his bandmates into the Four Seasons, in a non-singing role. Taking the role of Nick DeVito is Johnny Cannizzaro (The Muppets, Lost Angels). Nick DeVito is the brother of Tommy DeVito and a founding member of The Variety Trio, the group that began singing together before linking up with Valli and eventually becoming the Four Seasons.

Jeremy Luke, Joey Russo Join Clint Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys'

August 2013 The Hollywood Reporter announced:
Jeremy Luke and Joey Russo have been cast in Jersey Boys, the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, which will be helmed by Clint Eastwood. Jeremy Luke, who has been cast to star in Frank Darabont's upcoming TNT drama Lost Angels, will play Donnie, a loan shark who is trying to extort money from Frankie Valli. Joey Russo has been cast as Joe "Joey" Pesci, who helped create the '60s musical group. Luke and Russo, friends in real life, both hail from Staten Island and moved out to Los Angeles together. They created the web series Turbo and Joey. 

'Jersey Boys' Broadway Actress to Reprise Role in Movie

On August 27th, 2013 The Hollywood reporter posted:
Erica Piccininni is going back to Jersey. Piccininni, who starred in Jersey Boys' original Broadway production, will reprise her role in the Warner Bros. film version of the Tony-winning musical being directed by Clint Eastwood.

Piccininni will play Lorraine, an attractive Detroit reporter who meets Frankie (John Lloyd Young) for an interview and begins a sizzling affair with him. It was also reported that The Sopranos actress Kathrine Narducci will star in Jersey Boys as Frankie Valli's mother, Mary Rinaldi. 

On August 28th, it was also confirmed that John Lloyd Young is to play Frankie Valli. Young had been previously rumoured to be Eastwood and producer Graham King's top pick to portray the famous falsetto-singing Four Seasons front man. 

Freya Tingley as Francine Valli

As far as I could establish, 19-year-old, Perth-born actress Freya Tingley appeared to join the cast in the September of 2013. Freya originally sent in her audition on videotape. After landing the part, she didn’t meet director Eastwood until her first day on the set in Los Angeles. So was she nervous or overawed when she first met the legendary director?
Not a bit. I was really excited!
I auditioned for the casting director and my tape was sent off with two other girls to Clint Eastwood, and he was taking a look at the tapes and picked me,' Tingley said.
‘I'm a big fan of the 70s for film. I feel like it’s a golden era of film and he's such a big contributor of that era. So to be working for someone who is so renowned and respected is really exciting.’
Tingley loved the opportunity to work with Eastwood in the film, where she plays Frankie Valli's daughter.
‘He's a very calm and knowing person, he just knows so much,’ she said. ‘Before I was going to be working for him, I did my research and decided to YouTube some actors who had worked with him. Meryl Streep said when you're being directed by him, you don't know you're being directed by him. So when I was on set, he'll talk you through the scene rather than tell you “I want you to do this”. I liked his way of directing.’

Filming and the speed of Eastwood’s output! 

Clint of course has a reputation of bringing in a film on time and under budget. I have to say, I was somewhat staggered by how quick this was in the can! No sooner had I started watching the casting in August – by October the filming was finished! Here are a few stories that appeared along with some pictures that surfaced at the time.

Frankie Valli Discusses JERSEY BOYS Movie

September 27th BWW
Legendary Four Seasons front-man Frankie Valli discusses the highly anticipated new stage-to-screen adaptation of his hit Tony Award-winning Best Musical JERSEY BOYS in a new radio interview in promotion of an upcoming concert gig.
"Clint Eastwood is directing - it's really very, very exciting," Valli says.
In remarking upon the iconic actor and director taking the reigns of the 60s-set property for the big screen, Valli relates, "He's terrific. I was a big fan for many, many years, and getting to meet him was terrific."
Eastwood's musical background informed the decision to place him in the director's chair, as well, Valli asserts.
"That's why we were excited about him doing this," Valli says of Eastwood's extensive jazz and movie scoring resume. As for differences between the stage and screen iterations, Valli recounts, "It will be a lot like the play, except things that you can't do in a play that you can do in a play - it's been very interesting."
As far as the casting and the prominence of theatre actors in major roles in the movie, Valli states, "There are a couple of the people who have been in the play production."

Final Week of Filming On JERSEY BOYS Movie

October 8 2013, BroadwayWorld
The first photo captured of the main foursome together (above), along with some friends, has finally made its way onto social media, with headliner Erich Bergen taking to Twitter to write, "Beginning the final week of #JerseyBoysMovie. Missing these boys already," along with a shot of the titular stars sharing some off-the-clock time together.

Right: Another glimpse at master director Clint Eastwood on the set of the film has leaked, shared by supporting player KARA PACITTO who is shown in full leopard-print costume, tagged with the caption, "Had a great time with the nicest cast and crew"

Renee Marino utilized social media to share a pic of herself participating in a new photoshoot in promotion of the highly anticipated big screen tuner, as well, writing, "Such a fun day shooting new pics with @emmajanephotos #jerseyboysmovie".

Left: featured player Annelise Marie posted a selfie of herself from the set of the film, as well, labeling it, "My look on set today for new Jersey Boys movie that takes place in 1950s #timemachine #setlife #bts #selfie".

JERSEY BOYS is directed by Clint Eastwood based upon the Broadway musical featuring the music and lyrics of Bob Gaudio & Bob Crewe, written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The film stars John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Vincent Piazza, Michael Lomenda, Mike Doyle and Christopher Walken.

Of note, JERSEY BOYS is currently in production, with reports confirming the cast and crew shooting on location throughout Los Angeles. As BroadwayWorld reported last month, Frankie Valli has expressed extreme enthusiasm with the feature film and its director.

Clint Eastwood - Clint Eastwood 'perfect' for Jersey Boys

Bang Showbiz 4th January 2014
'Jersey Boys' producer Graham King says he knew right away that Clint Eastwood was the perfect guy to direct the big screen adaptation of the musical stage show.
Clint Eastwood was the ''perfect'' choice to direct 'Jersey Boys'.
Although some eyebrows were raised when the legendary actor-and-director was announced to helm the movie adaptation of the Broadway and West End musical - which charts the rags-to-riches rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - producer Graham King insists he knew he was the right person for the job from the start.

King explained to Empire magazine: ''I knew he had this musical background and that's what made him perfect for 'Jersey Boys'.

''He'd been struggling to set up 'A Star is Born' and within 48 hours of receiving 'Jersey Boys', he called me and said he loved it. He hadn't even seen the show at that point, so I recommended he go and check it out, so he did and that was when he decided he had to make it. It really was as easy as that.

''He works very quickly; it's been amazing to see his process. He first read the script in March and here we are in December with a finished movie.''
King was also insistent on casting the four stage stars who played Frankie Valli and his cohorts on Broadway rather than hiring Hollywood actors.
He said: ''I've always tried to stay away from gimmick casting. We certainly didn't shut the door on name actors and we looked at a lot of people across the board, but it was hard to envision a movie star playing Frankie Valli. The audience wouldn't buy it and the guys that did the show did such a phenomenal job. It was hard to put anyone else in front of them and think they could do a better job.''

Below: A couple of pictures of Clint shooting Jersey Boys on location

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