If you liked Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum's brief turns as songs and dance men at the Oscars last February, the good news is there are plans to cast them together in a splashy big screen musical.
20th Century Fox has struck a deal to make a new film version of "Guys and Dolls," the classic Broadway musical by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, with songs by Frank Loesser. Reports have it that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum are in talks to play the leading roles, good-natured gangsters Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson.
Based on the short stories of Damon Runyon, who made a career out of spinning funny tales of life among New York's less savory characters, "Guys and Dolls" is set in the 1930s and follows Detroit, proprietor of "The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game In New York," as he tries to raise a thousand dollars for a new venue. Detroit makes a bet with his buddy Masterson that he can't persuade Sarah Brown, a religious girl who works at a rescue mission, to join him for a trip to Havana (a hot upscale vacation destination at the time). An immediate hit when it opened on Broadway in 1950, "Guys and Dolls" was made into a movie in 1955 with Frank Sinatra as Nathan Detroit and Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson.
For years, various producers have been vying to bring "Guys and Dolls" back to the screen, but Jo Loesser, Frank Loesser's widow, owns the rights and has been very particular about what sort of deal she was willing to accept. 20th Century Fox have apparently accepted her terms, and have put the project in the first stages of development. While a director and screenwriter have yet to be named for the remake, it's said that the studio thinks Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum are just the right guys to handle the leading roles.
While neither are known as musical stars, Gordon-Levitt showed he could carry a tune quite well when he sang "High Hopes" with Daniel Radcliffe and Seth MacFarlane on the Academy Awards telecast in February. (He also strutted his stuff with geeky élan in "500 Days Of Summer.") And Tatum looked elegant dancing with Charlize Theron to "The Way You Look Tonight" on the Oscar telecast. (Anyone who has seen "Magic Mike" knows Tatum has other dancing skills that probably won't be put to use in "Guys and Dolls").
It also helps that Gordon-Levitt and Tatum are good friends off screen (Gordon-Levitt even parodied Tatum's "Magic Mike" character - and his dance moves - in an appearance on "Saturday Night Live"), and they would certainly be comfortable with the banter between their characters. (That can't be said for the 1955 movie, where Sinatra and Brando famously did not get along.)
While it's early enough that no one is even projecting a start date for "Guys and Dolls," let alone when it will arrive in theaters, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum sounds like a casting decision that shows the studio has the right idea for the project. Get those guys learning "Luck Be A Lady Tonight" ASAP.
See Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a clip from '(500) Days of Summer':
See Channing Tatum in the trailer for 'Magic Mike':