Oscar winner J.K. Simmons may have canceled his planned trip to Skull Island, but the actor is still heading somewhere sunny for his next project. THR reports that Simmons is set to reteam with Damien Chazelle, the director who led Simmons to awards season glory with last year’s Whiplash, for musical La La Land, a romance set in Los Angeles.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (back in a romantic pairing after the explosive chemistry they displayed in Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Gangster Squad) are toplining the buzzy pic as two young lovers – a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress, respectively – who find each other as both are struggling to advance their careers in the cutthroat world of Hollywood. As success finally appears, however, the two are faced with tough decisions that begin to tear them apart.
Jessica Rothe, Sonoya Mizuno and Callie Hernandez all also joined the cast recently, playing Stone’s character’s trio of roommates. As for Simmons, he’ll be playing an authoritative character named Boss.
La La Land takes Chazelle back to the world of high-stakes music, but he’s actually been planning to make the film for a long time, since before Whiplash. It’s said to be a modern take on the movie musical, and with a cast led by three sensational thesps, the pic is high on our watchlist for next year. No helmer had a more thrilling debut last year than Chazelle, and recruiting Simmons for his follow-up is one way to help alleviate any fears of a sophomore slump.
La La Land opens July 15, 2016.