Can a song save your life? That’s the question asked by Can A Song Save Your Life? Another query it posed today: can Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) pretend to like Scarlett Johansson’s singing. The Oscar-nominated actor has just signed up to play the male lead in director John Carney’s follow-up to his breakthrough musical Once, which brought gruff Irishman Colin Farrell to tears when it won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2007. The film stars Johansson (who no doubt swiped this role from the angry clutches of Gwyneth Paltrow) as a bright-eyed bumpkin who moves to New York with her boyfriend to pursue her dream of becoming a big-time fancy singer; after the boyfriend hits it big and dumps her, she’s relegated to singing alone at a bar, where a down and out music producer (Ruffalo) is drawn to her “raw talent and inspiring authenticity.” Hit the jump for more, including a full press release.
Hilarious jokes aside, Johansson’s voice, at its best, has been credited with possessing an appealingly unpolished quality. Based on the synopsis, which emphasizes “raw” and “authentic,” it seems like it could be put to believable use with this project. Plus, it’s tough to argue with Carney and Ruffalo (which would also make a really kickass name for TNT’s next odd-couple buddy show, amirite?)
Can A Song Save Your Life? will be produced and distributed by Exclusive Media, with Judd Apatow (Bridesmaids) also on board as an exec producer. Writer-director Carney will collaborate with Gregg Alexander (the creative engine of‘90s pop group New Radicals) on the film’s music.
Here’s the full press release:
LOS ANGELES, CA (February 3rd, 2012) – Academy Award Nominee Mark Ruffalo (upcoming THE AVENGERS, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, ZODIAC) and Scarlett Johansson (upcoming THE AVENGERS, IRON MAN 2, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA) are set to star in CAN A SONG SAVE YOUR LIFE? written and to be directed by John Carney (ONCE), it was announced today by Exclusive Media Co-Chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East.
Exclusive Media will produce and finance the feel good romance.
Seduced by dreams of making it in the big city, Gretta (Johansson) and her long-time boyfriend move to New York to pursue their passion for music. She’s heartbroken when he dumps her for the fame and fortune of a big solo contract, leaving Gretta all on her own. Her world takes a turn for the better when a down-on-his-luck record producer (Ruffalo) stumbles upon her singing in a local bar and is immediately captivated by her raw talent and inspiring authenticity – they may be each other’s last chance to turn their lives around. Somewhere between friendship and their love of music, the two strangers strike a chord that captures the hearts of everyone around them, proving that every great story has its own soundtrack.
Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, OUR IDIOT BROTHER, Sundance hit LAY THE FAVORITE) is attached to produce the film with Judd Apatow (BRIDESMAIDS, KNOCKED UP, SUPERBAD) attached as Executive Producer of the Exclusive Media production.
Exclusive Media’s Head of Production, Tobin Armbrust, will oversee production on the film, which will begin shooting in June 2012. Alex Walton, President of International Sales and Distribution, will handle international sales and will unveil the film at the upcoming European Film Market.
“This is a beautiful and soulful story which we are honored to help John bring to life” said Tobin Armbrust.
Writer/director John Carney will be working with Grammy-award winning songwriter, Gregg Alexander (New Radicals), on the music for the film.
John Carney wrote and directed the award-winning music film, ONCE, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song as well as an Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film. He recently wrote/directed the Irish film, THE RAFTERS which is in post-production and is attached to direct the drama DOGS OF BABEL starring Steve Carell.
Mark Ruffalo was nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for his role in the critically acclaimed THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. His previous roles include starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s SHUTTER ISLAND, as well as opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. in David Fincher’s ZODIAC. He will next be seen as “The Hulk” in Disney’s upcoming THE AVENGERS and is attached to star in Ryan Murphy’s A NORMAL HEART.
Scarlett Johansson’s numerous screen credits include roles in Woody Allen’s MATCH POINT and VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA, Christopher Nolan’s THE PRESTIGE and GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING. She starred as “Black Widow” in Paramount Pictures’ IRON MAN 2 and will reprise her role in Disney’s THE AVENGERS. She can currently be seen in Cameron Crowe’s WE BOUGHT A ZOO opposite Matt Damon.
Johansson has also launched a successful singing career with the debut of her album, “Anywhere I Lay My Head” in 2008 featuring covers of Tom Waits’ songs which she followed up with a collaborative album with singer/songwriter Pete Yorn titled “Break Up” in 2009.
Anthony Bregman is a BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated producer with an enviable list of acclaimed film credits including ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, Indie Spirit winner SYNECDOCHE NEW YORK, FRIENDS WITH MONEY, OUR IDIOT BROTHER, Sundance Film Festival premiere LAY THE FAVORITE and the upcoming DARLING COMPANION. He is the founder of the NY-based production company Likely Story
Executive Producer Judd Apatow is the Producer behind many of Hollywood’s comedy hits including THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, KNOCKED UP, SUPERBAD, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL and this year’s hugely successful BRIDESMAIDS starring Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.
Exclusive Media is a major force in the production and international distribution arena. Production titles include THE WOMAN IN BLACK starring Daniel Radcliffe set for its wide theatrical release today through CBS Films, and George Clooney’s THE IDES OF MARCH produced by Smokehouse Pictures and co-produced by Exclusive Media with Cross Creek Pictures.
Exclusive Media’s current production slate also includes Ron Howard’s epic RUSH starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl and produced with production partners Cross Creek Pictures, Revolution Films, Imagine and Working Title; END OF WATCH starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick and America Ferrera; SO UNDERCOVER starring Miley Cyrus; SNITCH starring Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon in post production; and BONESHAKER to be produced with Cross Creek Pictures.
Recent titles from Exclusive Media’s documentary film division, Spitfire Pictures, include the Academy Award Nominated UNDEFEATED set for release through The Weinstein Company on February 17th and Martin Scorsese’s award winning GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD produced by Martin Scorsese, Nigel Sinclair and Olivia Harrison.
Ruffalo is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Keith Klevan. Johansson is repped by CAA. Carney is repped by CAA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates. Apatow is repped by UTA. Bregman is repped by Craig Emanuel at Loeb & Loeb.