Sometimes it helps to add a little star power. Hollywood heavyweight Christopher Walken has joined the cast of the forthcoming film “Jersey Boys,” directed by fellow screen legend Clint Eastwood. The film is an adaptation of the hit musical based on the story of pop legends The Four Seasons. Warner Bros and GK Films will produce the project.
According to Deadline, Walken has been tapped to portray New Jersey mob boss Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo. In the musical, DeCarlo serves as an unofficial adviser to the group as they make their way up the showbiz ladder.
As the BBC points out, the 70-year-old Walken has roots in musical theater. He once starred in a production of "West Side Story" and trained as a dancer at the Washington Dance Studio. Walken has worked his dancing skills into a number of his films, including “Pennies From Heaven,” “A Business Affair,” “Hairspray,” “Around The Bend” and perhaps most famously, the 2001 video for the Fatboy Slim song “Weapon of Choice.”
Rather than rounding out the “Jersey Boys” cast with big-name actors, Eastwood has chosen theater performers who would not be immediately familiar to film audiences. To play The Four Seasons themselves, Deadline reports that Eastwood has picked actors John Lloyd Young and Erich Bergen -- who portrayed Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio, respectively -- as well as Vincent Piazza (“Boardwalk Empire”) in the role of Tommy Devito and Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi.
The film is scheduled to begin shooting this September in Los Angeles.
The BBC notes that the film adaptation has had a troubled history. “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau was originally attached to direct in 2010 but dropped out after budget disagreements with Warner Bros.
“Jersey Boys” tells the tale of The Four Seasons, one of the most popular recording groups of all time. Since debuting in 2005 on Broadway, the musical has been staged in Chicago, London, Toronto, Melbourne and more.