It wasn’t too long ago that it was revealed Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction, Hairspray, Seven Psychopaths) would be taking on the role of Angelo ‘Gyp’ DeCarlo. It has now been reported that joining him are Eric Bergen (Jersey Boys First National Tour, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas casts) as songwriter Bob Gaudio, Mike Doyle as music producer Bob Crewe, Johnny Cannizzaro as Nick DeVito, Donnie Kehr as Norm Waxman, Jeremy Luke as Donnie, and Joey Russo as Joe Pesci.
The name John Lloyd Young also seems to pop up every time this movie is mentioned as someone who the producers and Eastwood himself are eyeing for the lead role of Frankie Valli. Young was the original Valli in the Tony Award Winning Broadway version of Jersey Boys and it’s his voice you will hear on the original cast soundtrack. Another falsetto contender was seemingly thrown in to the pot recently when we then heard that the West End’s original Frankie Valli, Ryan Molloy, was also “in talks” about playing the role. It would be a smart move on behalf of the movie makers to give one of these men the part, and my reason for saying this is as follows: The initial audience for this film is most likely going to be fans who have seen the show, possibly multiple times, in either London or New York, so, if the standard of whoever is eventually cast does not at least match, or exceed, Young or Molloy, there may well be some very unsatisfied fans and consequently some unhappy box office numbers.
In a recent BBC Radio 2 interview with Steve Wright, Molloy, who, as it happens, holds the record for the longest serving lead in the West End, said: “I am in the mix, but the fact that I’m in London… I think when you’re in New York and Broadway and you kinda got that, it’s easy for them to come and see you…” He has a point, but it would be a shame for the UK talent to miss out just because of an inconveniently placed ocean.
I eagerly await news of more casting, but until then, here’s the original Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry About Me).