New Line Cinema is playing ball with Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal on "Damn Yankees," attaching both actors to star in a contemporized film transfer of the classic musical.
Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel are set to write the script.
The musical is being produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the duo behind New Line's musical "Hairspray"; a sequel to that film is in the works.
"Damn Yankees," which bowed on Broadway in 1955 and won seven Tony Awards, focuses on Joe Boyd, a happily married middle-aged man whose devotion to a hapless pro baseball team prompts him to make a Faustian bargain with the devil to help the team. He's transformed into slugger Joe Hardy, in exchange for Boyd's soul. Boyd can break the deal, but the deadline occurs during the World Series. For good measure, the devil engages Lola, a gorgeous lost soul, to seduce the slugger and seal his fate.
The plan is for Carrey to play the devil, and Gyllenhaal to play Boyd. It's the first musical for each.
The trick is finding a balance that retains the show's classic tunes like "(You Gotta Have) Heart" and "Whatever Lola Wants," while injecting a contemporary feel on a musical that is firmly rooted in the 1950s. The intention is to get a script from Ganz and Mandel before meeting directors, and actresses who'll want to play Lola.
Here's the trailer for the original 1958 movie:
(Photos courtesy of IHJ.)