Jersey Boys

There isn’t a lot of star power on display in the first official look at Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys adaptation. In fact, Eastwood’s name might be the only one you recognize in this story… unless you are old enough to know who Frankie Vali and the rest of the singers in the chart-topping Four Seasons are.

Broadway fans likely will flock to Eastwood’s film, which is taking the Tony Award-winning musical from the stage to the screen later this year. A harmonious look back at the rise and fall of the Four Seasons act, Jersey Boys hangs its hat on traditional ear worms like "Sherry," "Big Girls Don’t Cry," "Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You" and "Rag Doll." Trust me, even if you’ve never heard of the Four Seasons or paid to see Jersey Boys on Broadway, you know these songs. They are part of our musical pop-culture fabric.

So who are the fresh-faced young lads in Eastwood’s first photo, shared by Warner Bros. (and posted on The Film Stage’s Twitter account)? Instead of recruiting bankable, recognizable household names, the legendary director held open auditions for newcomers and found John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Vincent Piazza and Michael Lomenda as Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, respectively. Christopher Walken might be the only name in the Jersey Boys cast audiences will know. He’ll play Angelo "Gyp" DeCarlo, a notorious mobster, when the movie comes out in June.

Does Eastwood need stars to make Jersey Boys sing? Absolutely not. The music is the star of this show, and so long as the director found guys who can harmonize as well as the original Four Seasons (or the singers who brought the show to Broadway), then the movie has a puncher’s chance at succeeding. In fact, going with younger performers who bring no baggage to the screen might be the smartest way to approach a widely-known show like Jersey Boys. If anything, the movie might define the careers of guys like Bergen and Piazza. If it’s great, it might launch them into stardom. If it stinks, well…

We’ll find out soon enough. Eastwood is steering Jersey Boys toward a June 20 release date. And at the very least, we can all breath a sigh of relief over the fact that this isn’t a sequel to Kevin Smith’s Jersey Girl, right?

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