Ritchie not remaking Guys and Dolls
Apparently Guy Ritchie isn't, and never has had any intention of, directing a remake of Guys and Dolls. Now if you find that surprising then you haven't been reading any of the coverage of the rumours that I've been writing because from the very beginning I've doubted it all.
Still, the confirmation has come, and to top it all there looks like there's another Guys and Dolls production in the works, and it's a real one too.
I had said from the start that this was like an unbelievable rumour, not that Jason Statham was set to star, but that Guy Ritchie was thinking of remaking Guys and Dolls. It began to be clear from some of the media sources and the way that the sources were talking about the rumour, that it was overheard in a drinking session as a laughable joke between the two and suddenly it's in the British tabloids as fact.
Variety through The Playlist reveal that the estate of Frank Loesser, the writer of the music and lyrics, has to approve any project under the title and when they heard that Justin Timberlake was possibly being courted the alarm bells were raised and they started investigating.
What surprises me is that they didn't have the alarm bells raised back in May when Jason Statham was rumoured to be taking a leading role and waited two months until Timberlake was rumoured. Was the Statham casting with Guy Ritchie directing acceptable but the Timberlake option not?
The lawyers got in touch with Ritchie and he was apparently surprised, something I very much doubt as he's surely seen the press in Britain writing about it, however he said he'd never claimed to be directing it at all.
So that's the rumour out the window. However they did check up on rumour of another version of the film with Hugh Jackman working behind it, and that news was a lot more positive.
”I can’t tell you what is happening, but I can tell you what is not happening, and that is this Guy Ritchie version.”
That comment comes from an attorney for the estate, Allen H. Arrow. Now that's more concrete than the rumour of Ritchie's version, but still nothing near to confirmation. Still it suggests that there is something happening.
The Variety sources, and again I point out that these are sources and should be treated no more reliably as the sources that gave us the previous story, however 20th Century Fox are apparently working on a deal to gain the rights which would see Hugh Jackman take up the Sky Masterton role that Marlon Brando once played.
Now that does sound a lot more believable. Jackman has been rumoured for the role since 2006.
Putting that option to Arrow gave a more amiable response, although still cautious and sounding as though there was no decision or even discussion on it.
”We are not opposed to that development...This musical survived even the recent Broadway revival, and as bad as that was, they couldn’t kill it. If the terms are proper in the scenario you describe, that could happen.”
That certainly sounds more plausible, but there's still a long way to go. I think this musical could work again and Hugh Jackman would be a good choice for one of the leads, although perhaps he would have been more suited to the role played by Frank Sinatra, Nathan Detroit.