Bandslam Director Todd Graff to Helm Damn Yankees Musical
by Ethan Anderton
February 5, 2010
Don't be turned off by the fact that Todd Graff directed Bandslam with Vanessa Hudgens because word on the street is that movie is actually pretty good (it has an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes) but was poorly marketed, and actually had a lot more of an edge to it than Disney's teen musical cash cow. Now Graff gets the chance to show off with a bigger musical as Deadline Hollywood reports he'll direct New Line's Damn Yankees, the contemporary adaptation of the 1955 musical about a baseball fan (Jake Gyllenhaal) who sells his soul to the devil (Jim Carrey) to become an all-star to then lead his hapless favorite team to the World Series.
We're still waiting to see who will play Lola, the temptress sent by the devil to seduce Gyllenhaal's character, but I can't wait to see Carrey as the devil. I've been waiting for him to play the devil since he was rumored to star in an adaptation of the Glen Duncan novel I, Lucifer before he went to the opposite end of the spectrum in Bruce Almighty. Should be an interesting dynamic between an actor who has had exorbitant amounts of experience in comedy, and Gyllanhaal, whose only comedy experience came from his role in Bubble Boy.
It's been far too long since I've seen a musical comedy that I really loved, but I think this has the potential to fill that void. Sure I enjoyed parts of Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny and Hairspray, but I think the last straight musical comedy I really enjoyed was South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (from 1999). Maybe A Mighty Wind, too, but that's not a musical in the traditional sense of songs being used to progress the story. Hopefully this isn't a disappointing venture like the adaptation of the musical version of The Producers. And after being tragically disappointed by Nine, I'm in need of a really good musical. How about you guys?