Today in show business news: Zach Braff is going to do a musical, Paula Deen does a good thing for once, and we now know when Fifty Shades of Grey will be in theaters.
Not busy enough with his partially Kickstarter-funded new movie Wish I Was Here, actor Zach Braff has taken a leading role in a new Broadway musicale. He'll play the John Cusack role in a stage adaptation of Bullets Over Broadway, the delightful 1994 Woody Allen film about a playwright, a gangster's girlfriend, and the theatah. The musical version will use songs from its 1930s time period as its score. So, does that sound like something you'd want to see? Zach Braff singin' and dancin' (I'd have to assume there will be dancing, as Susan Stroman is directing) for a couple of hours on Broadway? I'm sure many people are thrilled about this. I mean, people just gave him over $2,000,000 to make a movie, so he's definitely got some dedicated fans. It will be interesting to see how he, an avid theater buff and Stagedoor alum, acquits himself as the lead in a big Broadway extravaganza, so I'm eager to see it. All I need to do is start a Kickstarter campaign to raise some money to buy a ticket. Get it? Because Broadway tickets are expensive? See, this thing is already funny! [Playbill]
Finally, some good news for Paula Deen. Sorta. She's finally reversed the Today Show's losing trend! Her strange and emotional interview with Matt Lauer yesterday buoyed Today's ratings, helping it beat Good Morning America for the first time since November. So there you have it, NBC. Want to save Today? Just air a bizarre and vaguely upsetting interview with a celebrity whose career has been completely destroyed because of something they did in their past, every day. Just do that every day and the show is saved! It shouldn't be hard. This is America. This place is lousy with famous people who have done stupid, life-ruining things. You just have to find them. [Deadline]
Set your phasers to... Well, actually, don't tell me what you're going to set your phasers to, that's between you and your phasers, but the Fifty Shades of Grey movie finally has a release date. It will be moaning into theaters on August 1, 2014. That date makes sense, as August has traditionally been the month for big, women-targeted releases. (Think: Julie & Julia, The Help.) Will you be going? Is Fifty Shades of Grey the kind of thing you're into? Or will you be waiting for the, uh, big release at home? Seems like a strange movie to see in the theaters maybe. I mean we all remember what happened to poor Fred Willard. So just... I don't know. Be careful what you do with your phasers. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Speaking of sexy things, Scott Speedman has just joined the cast of the Ryan Murphy HBO pilot Open. That's the one that's all about sex and relationships and all that stuff. Speedman is going to play "Jonathan, a handsome sports marketing executive." Well, right. Scott Speedman isn't going to play Jonathan, an ugly sports marketing executive. If Scott Speedman is playing the character I don't think you need to add "handsome." I suppose if Scott Speedman played a bunch of Quasimodos in a row and then after that he took a regular role you'd have to say "handsome," but not at this point. "Sports marketing executive" is enough. The rest is implied. [Deadline]
Innnteresting. Orson Scott Card, the author of Ender's Game, is being kept very far away from the film adaptation's marketing campaign. Summit is planning a big Comic-Con event for the movie, attended by Harrison Ford and likely other cast members, but Scott Card will be absent. I guess the studio thinks that his wildly anti-gay beliefs might be a deterrent for some potential audience members. Also the rest of his kinda crazy politics. So, he won't be Stephenie Meyering around, mingling with the glitterati and the hoi polloi alike. The actors and filmmakers will, but he and his whole "let's destroy the government if gay marriage is made legal" business can just stay home. Fine by me! [Deadline]
American Idol first season runner-up Justin Guarini has been cast as Paris in the Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet that stars Orlando Bloom. So this is going to be the hot ticket of the season, you can bet on that! It also bodes well for a Broadway adaptation of From Justin to Kelly. Just gotta get Anika Noni Rose to sign off. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Here is a trailer for Escape Plan, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone as two old men breaking of a prison to test its security. Vincent D'Onofrio is also in it, lookin' good. Amy Ryan's in it too, which is kind of sad. Oh well. It could be fun. Who knows. I guess it's good that everyone's still working.