Clint Eastwood and Ben Affleck have been consistent powerhouses at Warner Bros., churning out critical and commercial hits in Argo, Gran Torino, The Town and Million Dollar Baby. They’ll continue to reward the studio (and audiences, hopefully) with upcoming features that today earned a pair of release dates.
Eastwood’s will arrive first. The director’s screen adaptation of the Broadway smash Jersey Boys will open in theaters on June 20, 2014, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Christopher Walken is the biggest name in Eastwood’s ensemble, as the filmmaker went with relative newcomers to play the singing members of the Four Seasons. John Lloyd Young will play Frankie Valli in the musical, while Vincent Piazza landed the coveted role of Tommy DeVito.
Jersey Boys, of course, is based on the Tony Award-winning musical that chronicles the rise of the famous band The Four Seasons, led by Valli in the lead singing role.
The odd thing about Jersey Boys is that it’s Eastwood’s first movie since 2011’s J. Edgar, with Leonardo DiCaprio. That marks the longest gap between Eastwood films since – well, pretty much since he started directing movies back in 1971 with Play Misty for Me. Granted, Eastwood is 83. He’s destined to slow down. But I think his attempts at mounting A Star is Born remake with Beyonce might have contributed to this gap in the director’s production cycle.
On the subject of "gaps," Warner reveals that Affleck’s next directorial effort, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night, won’t reach theaters until Dec. 25, 2015. Why the delay? Uh, duh:
Lehane’s novel is a period drama set in Boston (of course) during the Prohibition Era of the 1920s. It is a sprawling crime epic that sounds like it can translate into an amazing film for Affleck to direct … once he hangs up the cape and cowl of D.C.’s most popular superhero. I’m thrilled Affleck has a directorial gig on the books, but if he planned to adapt more Lehane, I wish that he would continue the stories of Patrick and Angie, the detectives he introduced in Gone Baby Gone, because Lehane wrote a slew of terrific books with those characters … including a sequel to Gone that could easily become a follow up to that movie. Maybe in time, but certainly not before 2015.