EXCLUSIVE: MGM has hired Sascha Penn to write the latest version of The Idolmaker, the remake that has Craig Brewer attached to direct and Justin Timberlake circling to star. Hawk Koch and Gene Kirkwood are producing and Cassidy Lange is overseeing for MGM. The 1980 Taylor Hackford-directed original starred Ray Sharkey in a story about the life of rock promoter/producer Bob Marcucci, who discovered Frankie Avalon and Fabian; Koch and Kirkwood produced that one too. Penn is currently writing an untitled firefighter project at Lionsgate, which has Jeff Chan attached to direct and he sold the pitch Yakuza Vs. Mafia to Good Universe and adapted the sci-fi novel Walls Of The Universe for Andrew Adamson. He also served as writer-producer on the Starz TV series Survivor’s Remorse. He’s repped by CAA and Madhouse Entertainment.
Here’s how fast things move in Hollywood. At Cannes, I got my confirmations and revealed that Ryan Gosling would direct and star in MGM’s remake of The Idolmaker. Now, a couple weeks later, I get to report that he’s had to back out of the picture, at least for now. He just informed the studio he would be too busy. He’s in pre-production on A Place Beyond the Pines, which reteams him with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, and then Gosling moves immediately into the Ruben Fleischer-directed Gangster Squad, starring with Sean Penn and Josh Brolin in the period crime drama for Warner Bros. MGM is convinced that Idolmaker is a plum project and the studio and will continue developing the picture. If Gosling is available, they will revisit it down the line. It is fun to watch Gosling’s transformation from darling of the independent film set to arguably the most coveted young leading man for studio films. After turning down lead roles in recent years I’ve heard included Superman, Jack Ryan, Akira and The Lone Ranger, Gosling is suddenly giving the studios a chance. He impressed the Cannes set with the Nicolas Refn-directed Drive, and Warner Bros is offering him everything after testing Crazy, Stupid, Love, with the studio getting Gosling to reteam with Refn in a remake of Logan’s Run.
EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Gosling is set to star and direct a remake of the 1980 movie The Idolmaker for MGM. It would be the Oscar-nominated actor’s directorial debut. Idolmaker, directed by Taylor Hackford, starred Ray Sharkey in a story about the life of rock promoter/producer Bob Marcucci, who discovered Frankie Avalon and Fabian. Gosling — in Cannes this week for the premiere of the competition film Drive, co-starring Carey Mulligan and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn — has been shifting his focus from indies to more mainstream fare of late. He’s co-starring alongside Steve Carell in Warner Bros’ Crazy, Stupid, Love, which opens July 29, and he is starring in Logan’s Run and Gangster Squad, Warner Bros’ big Will Beall-scripted crime drama that also will star Sean Penn and Josh Brolin.