The Wonders, beloved movie band from 'That Thing You Do!,' reuniting for coronavirus relief

·4 min read

It's not just our favorite real-life bands and musicians that are finding new ways to connect to and entertain their fans during quarantine.

The actors who played The Wonders, the pop-rock quartet from the 1996 faux biopic favorite That Thing You Do!, will be reuniting early Friday evening as a fundraising event for those affected by the coronavirus.

The announcement, made by actors Johnathon Schaech (lead vocalist Jimmy), Tom Everett Scott (drummer Guy Patterson), Steve Zahn (guitarist Lenny) and Ethan Embry (who in one of the movie's best bits, was known only as The Bass Player), comes on the heels of the death of singer-songwriter and Fountains of Wayne co-founder Adam Schlesinger, who wrote film's title track. Schlesinger died on April 1 at age 52 from complications due to COVID-19.

"The idea is to join us as we do a Zoom session that'll be up on YouTube Live and we're all gonna watch the movie together," Scott told Rolling Stone in a pre-Zoom Zoom session discussing the reunion. "And we'll talk about it."

The actors' shared love for the film, and experience making it, is abundantly clear. "This'll be an easy one to talk about," Zahn said. "There are some movies I've done I can't remember at all…. I'm blank. And they're more recent. And then there's this, where I remember every second." (Odds on one of those movies he doesn't remember being 2008's stoner flick Strange Wilderness?)

In 2017, Scott, Schaech and Embry reunited for a live performance celebrating the film's 20th anniversary at the famed West Hollywood venue The Roxy, with comedian John Adam Meyers filling in for Zahn. But this week marks the first time the foursome has gotten the band back together since the film's initial release.

Costars Liv Tyler and Giovanni Ribisi will also be joining the watch party.

One of the biggest question marks heading into it will be whether or not there's a surprise cameo from the film's famous director: That would be "America's Dad" Tom Hanks, who along with his wife Rita Wilson, made the stunning admission that he had tested positive for coronavirus during the very earliest stages of the virus's nationwide spread. That Thing You Do! actually marked the feature film directorial debut of its costar Hanks, who also helmed 2011's Larry Crowne. The movie was also one of the very first to feature future A-lister Charlize Theron.

There's also no word on whether the stars will be jamming out during the session (Odds: unlikely). Still, despite all being actors hired as musicians and not vice versa, they "rehearsed as a band," Zahn remembered. "We didn’t rehearse as a cast. We didn’t do scene work. All I remember is us in a studio together playing these songs over and over and over again. They wanted it to be really authentic so that they wanted us all to be really spot on."

One thing you definitely can expect from the reunion is for it to also serve as a tribute to the late Schlesinger, who was nominated for an Oscar for crafting six different versions of the catchy lead track. Proceeds from a button to donate to MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund will be made in the late musician's name.

"That's our way to honor Adam," Embry said.

The reunion will be live-streamed from The Wonders' new YouTube channel at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.

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