Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bryan Singer's All That Jazz

Back in December I wrote about my favourite film (OF! ALL! TIME!), All That Jazz, for SBS Films. I wrote:

Rob Marshall’s 2009 musical Nine proved that taking a beloved film – in this case Federico Fellini’s masterful 8½ – and reworking it for modern day audiences can be hard, especially when reconfiguring it into the musical genre. However, it was 30 years earlier in 1979 when iconic, legendary dance choreographer and film director Bob Fosse did it first; twisting Fellini’s autobiographical account of a physically and mentally exhausted creator into a musical fantasy.

You should, umm, read the rest. You really should.

Nevertheless, I bring this up because according to Reuters (via Dark Horizons) Bryan Singer is planning on making a biopic of the great director/dancer/choreographer/actor/plumber/stock-trader for HBO alongside the producers of Chicago and Hairspray.

Singer can be a talented man, but this doesn't exactly sound like a natural fit for him. And, of course, Fosse already made his own autobiography and it was so very, very brilliant that I'm not sure where Singer and co could possibly go. I just hope we don't see Fosse's troubled upbringing, the moment he decided he wanted to be a dancer (presumably by watching Astaire and Rogers) and the time when he thought he'd lose everything only to come surging back with his biggest triumph yet.

And yet, Fosse is a fascinating man and if Singer is unafraid to be musical in his telling of Fosse's life then it could be worth it. I mean, you can't make a biopic on a man like Bob freakin' Fosse and not include some singing and dancing, right? And just who will play Liza Minnelli? Is this Toni Collette's moment to shine since nobody in Hollywood seems to want to get a Liza-centric biopic off the ground for Toni Collette while she's still young enough. One can dream. I imagine a montage sequence dedicated to Bob and Liza's crazy successul 1974 will be there, surely. Hmmm. We'll follow this project with cautious optimism, I think.


Walter L. Hollmann said...

Of course it can only hope to come close to the beauty and energy of All That Jazz. But I'm cautiously optimistic. I like Bryan Singer's work, but if he's got his usual editor John Ottman on board, *then* I'll be excited. Besides, this gives us the opportunity to bounce around casting ideas/speculation.

JA said...

Glenn I hope you realize that if this happens and Toni Collete doesn't play Liza then I'm going to be very angry at you for making me so excited that it could maybe happen right now. So you'd better get Bryan Singer's people on the phone.