Will Todd Graff Direct New Damn Yankees Film?

News   Will Todd Graff Direct New Damn Yankees Film?
Todd Graff, who wrote and directed the 2003 film "Camp," will likely direct a new film based on the classic Broadway musical Damn Yankees, according to Deadline.com.
Todd Graff
Todd Graff

No official announcement has been made about Graff, who also directed "Bandslam" and appeared on Broadway in Baby.

Variety reported in February 2009 that the classic Richard Adler and Jerry Ross musical was heading back to the silver screen. The industry paper stated that Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — the famed producing team behind the Oscar-winning film of Chicago, the acclaimed movie of Hairspray and the recent TV film "A Raisin in the Sun" — will produce the film for New Line Cinema.

Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel will pen the script.

The cast will be headed by film stars Jim Carrey as the Devil and Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe Boyd. The role of Lola has yet to be cast.

The film will attempt to inject a contemporary feel into the 1950s musical, according to the trade paper. Based on the Douglass Wallop novel "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant," Damn Yankees features music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, and a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop.

The original Broadway production of Damn Yankees opened at the 46th Street Theatre May 5, 1955, playing 1,019 performances before closing at the Adelphi Theatre, where it later transferred, on Oct. 12, 1957. Directed by George Abbott with musical numbers staged by Bob Fosse, the original cast included Gwen Verdon, Stephen Douglass and Ray Walston. The production won 1956 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Walston), Best Actress in a Musical (Verdon), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Russ Brown), Best Choreography (Fosse), Conductor and Musical Director (Hal Hastings) and Stage Technician (Harry Green).

The most recent Broadway revival, which opened in March 1994 at the Marquis Theatre, co-starred Bebe Neuwirth, Victor Garber and Jarrod Emick.

Song titles include "Heart," "Joe at Bat," "Shoeless Joe From Hannibal, MO," "A Little Brains, A Little Talent," "Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets)," "Who's Got the Pain?," "Those Were the Good Old Days" and "Two Lost Souls," among others.

A recent City Center Encores! Summer Stars production featured Jane Krakowski, Sean Hayes, Cheyenne Jackson and Randy Graff.

City Center described the musical this way: "It is the story of Joe Boyd, the ultimate baseball fan, who sells his soul to the Devil for the chance to help his team, the Washington Senators, win the pennant race against the Yankees. The Devil is aided by the sexy Lola, who seduces Joe, but ultimately helps him outsmart the Devil and return to his beloved wife."

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