Mary J. Blige is the latest name to join the ranks of folks mentioned in the seemingly forever developing big screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical "Rock Of Ages."
So far this year Will Ferrell, Katy Perry, Seth Rogen, Taylor Swift and Tom Cruise (more on him in a second) have all been linked to the project but with nothing in the way of movement. Vulture now reports that Mary J. Blige is in talks to join the picture -- and “is all in” -- to play Justice Charlier, the owner of the Sunset Strip’s exotic dance venue the Venus Club in the story of a small town girl who meets a big city rocker and they fall in love to the greatest songs of the ‘80s. Though in this case "greatest" is a very loose term as the tale is powered by the music of Journey, Bon Jovi, Poison, Twisted Sister, Joan Jett and Foreigner.
Tom Cruise, who was rumored for the film last month, is apparently still in discussions to join the film as the villain, Stacee Jaxx. But of course he's off filming "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" and wouldn't be able to get to this until spring of next year at the earliest, and as usual, he has a number of other potential projects to choose from including "Top Gun 2" and a Les Grossman-centered film.
"Rock Of Ages" was initially being planned for a summer 2011 release but obviously that is off the table and it looks like a 2012 release at the earliest. With the talent that continues to hesitate to sign on, something tells us all the pieces aren't quite there. But undoubtedly, Warner Bros. will want to get this one moving soon. With "Glee" making sing-alongs to tacky songs immensely popular, and of course, with "Rock Of Ages" being a multiple Tony award winning smash, a film adaptation has the potential to be huge.
And if Blige does sign on for this, we're not sure what that will mean for "Nina," the biopic of the legendary jazz musician/singer Nina Simone she signed on to earlier in the year. But considering it was supposed to shoot in September and nothing has happened, we presume that one ran into some development issues along the way.
We'll see how this one develops but don't be surprised if more names crop up circling the project in the next little while. Adam Shankman ("Hairspray," "Bedtime Stories") is still on board to direct.