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WATCH: Stylish First Trailer for Clint Eastwood's Musical 'Jersey Boys,' Why Go Out in Summer?

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio | Thompson on Hollywood April 18, 2014 at 1:18PM

The first trailer for director Clint Eastwood's hotly anticipated "Jersey Boys," adapted from the celebrated musical about iconic '60s rock group The Four Seasons, has landed. Why is the presumed Oscar contender opening so early?
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"Jersey Boys."
"Jersey Boys."

The first trailer for director Clint Eastwood's hotly anticipated "Jersey Boys," adapted from the celebrated musical about iconic '60s rock group The Four Seasons, has landed. 

Like the smash jukebox musical written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice -- who also wrote the film's screenplay, alongside cowriter John Logan -- Eastwood's film revolves around the rise and fall of the band led by Frankie Valli, whose entanglements in the mafia and rough-and-tumble days on the streets of New Jersey came to define, and complicate, their image. After a long casting process, stage actor John Lloyd Young finally got to reprise his role as Valli, who he also played when the musical opened on Broadway in 2005. Christopher Walken costars.

This is 83-year-old Eastwood's first film as a director since 2011's divisive biopic "J. Edgar"; it's produced by Graham King's GK Films. And it's director Eastwood's first musical (he infamously starred in 1969 flop "Paint Your Wagon"). But the movie score composer and jazz pianist has always had a musical bent, from Cannes Best Actor-winner "Bird" (Forest Whitaker) to one episode of Alex Gibney's music doc "The Blues." As always, any Eastwood movie is considered an early Oscar contender, especially one so easily targeted to the senior Academy demographic. But Warner Bros.' June 20 release date seems a tad early for Eastwood, who often likes to arrive late to the awards party and steal the show. 


This article is related to: Clint Eastwood, Clint Eastwood, Video, Video, Trailers, Awards, Awards, Oscars


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.