Clint Eastwood and Graham King Eye Cast for ‘Jersey Boys’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Clint Eastwood Graham King

Filmmakers sought actors with musical theater backgrounds

After going through several hoops to get the adaptation of the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys” off the ground, Graham King and Warner Bros. look as if they are getting closer to a start date.

Broadway stars John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and “Boardwalk Empire” thesp Vincent Piazza are being eyed to star in the Clint Eastwood-directed film.

No offers have been put forth but sources tell Variety that these are the choices Eastwood and King want and Warners has given the OK to move forward with them.

If deals can be worked out, Young would play Frank Valli, Bergen would play Bob Gaudio, Piazza would play Tommy Devito and Lomenda would play Nick Massi.

Pic is based on the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. John Logan penned the script.

Eastwood, King and Robert Lorenz are producing. The real life Valli and Gaudio are exec producing.

Reports had surfaced early on that Eastwood and King were looking at actors who had at one point performed in the stage version of “Jersey Boys.” Everyone except Piazza  has starred in some version of the musical. Though he hasn’t performed in “Jersey Boys,” Piazza has stage experience, having working on several productions before getting his break with “Boardwalk Empire.”

For King, this a would be moral victory, since he has spent years trying to get the film off the ground. King won the rights to the musical in October of 2010 and soon hired Jon Favreau to direct.

When a budget could not be agreed on, Warners put the film in turnaround and Favreau left shortly after.

The project got a second chance when Eastwood came on to direct, leading Warners to pick it up again. The studio’s approval of casting choices  solidifies that the film is gaining steam towards a start date.

Piazza is repped by Gersh and Untitled Entertainment, Young is repped by Dona R. Miller and Bergen is repped by DBA and Persona Management.

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  1. George Distefano says:

    Joey Russo is going to rock in This film.
    BIG STAR!!!! Can’t wait to see him in this roll!!!!!
    Go Joe Go

  2. THIS IS AN AMAZING MUSICAL. Script so unbelievably clever. I’m certain that the incredible talent of Clint Eastwood will make the right call with regard to ‘stage to screen’. In my opinion, the language MUST stay true to Jersey. That to me is essential in the characterisation of this story. The rating shouldn’t come in to. Keep the story real!

  3. Tim says:

    Can’t wait!

  4. MiMi says:

    All the way with John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli. He is Fabulous!!!! I will be so disappointed if he isn’t in the movie.

  5. Jovi panlilio says:

    There’s no one who can play frankie in the movie except John Lloyd Young! His appeal is universal, and his acting is so good that he can convey emotion without uttering a word and his voice is right for the role. the only one who can bring the needed heart and angst to the role. I’m from Asia , not in the theater business and I went to New York just to watch him when he returned to Broadway.

    • Steph says:

      I completely agree. He is the voice on the Broadway cast album. I have seen many performances in different cities of Jersey Boys and John Lloyd Young is hands down the best, dare I say he is better than Frank Valli himself. I too flew from Seattle to seem him on Broadway when I found out he was performing. John is amazing. You can’t take your eyes off him when he is on stage. I won’t see the movie if he isn’t in it because it would not be as good.

  6. Lisa says:

    John Lloyd Young is the ONLY person they should be looking at to play Franki!! He is magical as Franki!!

  7. Mary Blanchard says:

    John Lloyd Young IS Frankie Valli onstage! There can be no other choice!!

  8. Brian Lewis says:

    Wild congrats to Michael Lomenda…the most brilliantly understated Nick Massi on stage! I will miss Quinn VanAntwerp as Bob Gaudio…he was electric in Toronto, on the tour and on Broadway!

  9. Nancy Colefield says:

    The Toronto cast of Jersey Boys was outstanding and had standing ovations every single night, starring Jeff Madden as Frankie, who also played Frankie in Jersey Boys Australia.

  10. Actor Gary says:

    This project is very exciting, and I predict a hit film.

  11. Just Confused says:

    Isn’t the only experience Eastwood has had with musicals
    “PAINT YOUR WAGON “?

    And isn’t that enough said?
    …..or am I…..

  12. Chris K says:

    I hope they leave the F-bombs out of the film. I was horrified to hear them in what was billed as family theater. Rodgers and Hammerstein never needed swear words like that. JB doesn’t either.

    • Hamish says:

      When I saw the show in San Francisco, the lobby had several signs posted stating the show would use authentic New Jersey dialog. It was clear going into the theater that the language would be adult in nature. I’m guessing the language stays unless they’re trying to get a PG-13 rating.

      • Cindy says:

        It does if it wants to be authentic. This isn’t The Sound of Music….It’s JERSEY Boys and it should be real.

    • You tell ’em, Chris!

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