A few years ago, word surfaced that Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were looking to maybe star in a flashy remake of the musical Guys and Dolls. It was an incredibly promising prospect given the talent of both individuals, but the project kind of faded away and, for now, appears to be dead. But not to fear! Instead of tackling an existing property, it appears that Tatum and Gordon-Levitt have opted to join forces on an original musical of their own design, and an R-rated one at that.
Per THR, the duo are attached to star as two pilots in an untitled musical comedy for Universal Pictures that is designed to be R-rated in nature. Marc Platt, who produced the Broadway musical Wicked, is producing the project alongside Adam Siegel, with Tatum, Gordon-Levitt, Tatum’s partner Reid Carolin, and Peter Kiernan also onboard as producers.
So what’s the story? Well we don’t know just yet, but it’s an original idea that Gordon-Levitt hatched with Michael Bacall, who will write the script. Bacall co-wrote Gordon-Levitt’s Manic as well as Tatum’s 21 Jump Street movies, so the screenwriter has a relationship with both. He also has semi-experience in the musical genre having co-written Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which I’d categorize as a semi-musical.
Tatum got his start in the business as a dancer, putting that to good use in films like Magic Mike and Hail, Caesar!, and Gordon-Levitt performed his own dance number in (500) Days of Summer and has stretched his vocals on his hitRECord videos. Clearly these are two guys with a passion for song and dance, and seeing them join forces for a musical feature—and an R-rated one at that—is incredibly exciting. I’m curious to see who they’ll nab to direct this thing, and if they’ll go with someone with more experience in the comedy or musical genre. Whatever the case, I can’t wait.
It’s unclear how quickly the project will materialize. Bacall now has to write the script, and Tatum and Gordon-Levitt are both very busy guys. Tatum is gearing up to star in the X-Men spinoff Gambit, with production taking place this year, and he’s also developing a directorial debut with producing partner Reid Carolin. Levitt, meanwhile, is developing a big-screen adaptation of Fraggle Rock and most recently wrapped the titular role in Oliver Stone’s Snowden.