Jersey Boys, the Broadway smash based on the life story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, gets its big screen adaptation in June after almost nine years on the Broadway stage — and the first trailer for the movie that features a catalog of hits by the wildly successful vocal group hit the internet Friday.
The Broadway version of Jersey Boys opened on November 6, 2005, and has been going strong ever since. The 2006 Tony Award winning show is still running at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre and has seen two United States tours and numerous productions in other major cities around the world.
In its ninth year on Broadway, Jersey Boys has already taken in more than $10 million at the box this year alone, despite a fall-off in sales over the past few weeks. Director Clint Eastwood and the film’s studio, Warner Bros, are hoping that when Jersey Boys hits multiplexes it will be a similar smash on a Hollywood scale.
But with a summer release, Jersey Boys lands right in the middle of the summer blockbuster season. It appears that Warner Bros is hoping that the older audience that not only goes to Broadway shows but would also likely be fans of The Four Seasons — whose final hit single came in 1975 — will see the musical as an alternative to the superheroes, sequels and remakes that once again will dominate the summer screen.
The Jersey Boys June 20 release date falls one week after the release of lowbrow comedy sequel 22 Jump Street, and a week before Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction, which will likely be the highest-grossing movie of the summer, or near the top at least.
Jersey Boys, while trying to grab an audience in a brief window between teen-oriented popcorn releases, also puts itself at a box office disadvantage due to Eastwood’s casting of the film’s lead roles with virtual unknowns. While circumventing the Hollywood star system may be admirable in theory, from a commercial perspective it can be box office suicide.
The stars of the Jersey Boys film are mostly New York stage actors. John Lloyd Young who originated the role of lead singer Frankie Valli on Broadway returns to the part in the movie, while the band’s founder Tommy DeVito is played by Vincent Piazza, best known fo his role as gangster Charles “Lucky” Luciano on the HBO crime drama Boardwalk Empire.
In the trailer, Piazza still appears to be playing Lucky Luciano, albeit with a better singing voice, as he and all the stars affect unintentionally comical “Joisey” accents.
But if you’re a fan of The Four Seasons, or of the Broadway Jersey Boys show, you’ll be seeing the movie for the music, not the acting. So check out the trailer below and see what you think.