Disney’s long-gestating musical comedy Bob the Musical, in which The Artist helmer Michel Hazanavicius may direct Tom Cruise, will be written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, The Hollywood Reporter revealed last night. Additionally, Bret McKenzie, who won an Oscar for “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets has been enlisted to write songs for the pic.
Bob the Musical centers on a regular guy who suffers a head injury after which he is able to hear the heart songs of everyone around him – much to his confusion and dismay. It’s been in development for more than a decade but recently got a shot in the arm when Hazanavicius, searching for a mainstream project to tackle in the wake of 2011 Best Picture winner The Artist, got involved.
As for Cruise, he’s still circling the lead role but has not signed on yet. The actor has flourished in musical roles before – his rendition of “Wanted Dead or Alive” was the only redeeming part of Rock of Ages – so it would be terrific to see him come aboard for a high-concept story like this.
Chabon, whose roundly adored novels include The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, is no stranger to film writing – he worked on Spider-Man 2, John Carter and an assortment of Disney projects, as well as the still-in-the-works 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake.
The author may be the most awarded name to take a swing at Bob the Musical but he’s far from the first. Over the years, scribes including Mike Bender (Not Another Teen Movie), John August (Frankeneenie), Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (City Slickers),Allan Loeb (Rock of Ages) and Matt Fogel (Prince Charming, a spec acquired by Disney) have worked on drafts.
Meanwhile, McKenzie replaces Frozen composer/lyricist duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The Oscar winner, one half of musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, is notably attuned to slightly more peculiar songwriting than Lopez and Anderson-Lopez.
Bob the Musical is still a while off, seeing as Disney is working hard to get the script and music just right, but we’ll keep you posted as Cruise’s involvement is firmed up.