Has Rusell Brand, branded himself as Hollywood’s new leading man? This is the first question that comes to mind as I confirm the news that Brand will join an already star-packed cast of the film adaptation of the show Rock of Ages playing Lonny, the film’s narrator and night club operator.
This show first debuted more than five years ago at the Vanguard Hollywood and recently returned to the Pantages to fulfill its love affair with the City of Angels. I was in the audience at the Pantages just a few weeks ago amongst stars that included George Lopez, Zac Efron, and Julianne Hough- who will in fact take the female lead in the film version. It’s no wonder then that Hollywood saw this play’s silver screen potential.
Producer/Director Adam Shankman announced the news via Twitter saying, “I can officially announce Russell Brand as your Lonny in #rockofagesmovie! I see a mullet in his future…maybe a Nikki Six?”
At its core, the film is a love story set to the music of the 80’s rock bands we all love including Bon Jovi, Poison, and Twisted Sister to name a few. The film cast includes the previously mentioned Julianne Hough as small-town girl Sherrie who heads to Hollywood to become an actress and takes a job waiting tables at the Bourbon Room run by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin). Sherrie catches the eye of Drew an aspiring musician/bar-back (Diego Gonzalez Boneta), but cuts their romance and her job short when she has an affair with rocker Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise). Sherrie is forced to strip on the sunset strip at a gentleman’s club owned by Justice (Mary J. Blige). Catherine Zeta Jones has even been added as a new character to the film version; the conservative anti-rock wife of the town mayor.
But just as in all clichéd love stories- boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back- Sherrie and Drew find their happy ending in the city of angels. While the story is predictable, the performances as sure to be stellar and if it meets up to it’s theatrical counterpart you will be singing along and breaking out your old hair crimper! But let’s not get carried away, back to my earlier question…
With the success of films including Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek (two other rocker themed roles for Brand) and the recent animated success Hop, not to mention Arthur and this announcement, is Russell a box office brand? Only opening weekend will tell, but this Brit seems to be having a smashing good time making us laugh