Filmmakers sought actors with musical theater backgrounds
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.
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.