Pajiba hasn’t really discussed the goings-on with Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages; I don’t know if we’re too embarrassed to admit that it might be of any interest or if we’re just hoping it will go away. But it keeps racking up the actors, big and small, great and awful, so I figure it’s about time to break the ice and discuss this mess.The latest is that Bryan Cranston has allowed himself be sucked into the thing, he’ll be playing the Mayor of Los Angeles. First Larry Crowne, now this? (Thank you, AMC, for delaying the start of “Breaking Bad” so Walt White could get himself involved with as many bad movies as possible.)
All this started with a book and a Los Angeles (and later, Broadway) show—a musical love story involving all the worst “rock” bands you can think of…Journey, Styx, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, Asia. When it went to Broadway, the cast was headed up by “American Idol’s” Constantine Maroulis. Somewhere along the line it was decided a film should be made and Shankman (Hairspray, “So You Think You Can Dance”) should direct and almost immediately, Tom Cruise’s name was being bandied about. Personally, I can’t think of anyone who’d want to hear Cruise sing, but according to Shankman, he has a good voice and is perfect for the role of the former lead singer of The Biggest Rock Band in the World. (I do suppose he’s got the ego.) After Cruise came a slew of other names: first Mary J. Blige, then television’s own little Dancing Queen, Julianne Hough. At that point it was easy for me to dismiss the whole thing, but more names kept popping up. Alec Baldwin, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta Jones, Russell Brand, Mexican singer Diego Boneta and now, my beloved Cranston. What are the chances this thing will be any good? I don’t know—who’d have guessed the Broadway thing would receive a bunch of Tony nominations, including one for Moroulis as Best Lead Actor? Is this Cruise’s shot at an Academy Award (He can sing!? Not from what I recall of Top Gun)? Would I be caught dead, sneaking into a theater to see it? (No.) Will you?
Even just writing about this makes me feel dirty (and not in a good way). It’s a little bit like when I found out the Skarsgård was involved with Battleship. But for those of you who have plans to sneak to the theater under cover of night, get your disguises ready for June 1, 2012. Now, let us never speak of this again.