Chris D'Arienzo to write and direct adaptation
New Line has won an auction for screen rights to “Rock of Ages,” a stage musical that does with ’80s rock anthems what “Mamma Mia!” did with Abba tunes.Chris D’Arienzo, who wrote the book for the Off Broadway tuner, will write the screenplay and direct the film. The storyline takes place at a Sunset Strip rock club called Rock of Ages, where a man and woman fall in love but get torn apart by the rock lifestyle. The show is propelled by signature ’80s rock anthems popularized by Journey, Twisted Sister, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Bon Jovi and REO Speedwagon. Hollywood has marveled over the global success of “Mamma Mia!,” and several studios bid on the musical, which opened Off Broadway in mid-October and is running strong. Pic will be produced by the musical’s creative producers, Matthew Weaver and Scott Prisand of Corner Store Entertainment, and Carl Levin. Joining them in the feature effort is Tobey Maguire and his Maguire Entertainment. Janet Billig, Hillary Weaver and Maguire Entertainment’s Dan Shafer will be exec producers. D’Arienzo recently made his feature directing debut on “Barry Munday,” a Corner Store-financed film that is in post-production. Patrick Wilson and Judy Greer star. The “Rock of Ages” deal comes after Universal acquired the Tony-winning Broadway musical “In the Heights,” with creator and songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda starring and book writer Quiara Alegria Hudes penning the script. It becomes the second big musical project for New Line, which is developing a sequel to “Hairspray.”
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