Variety is reporting Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal have joined New Line Cinema’s attempt to remake the 1958 musical Damn Yankees with Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel aboard to write the script and Hairspray producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, along for the ride.
Damn Yankees premiered on Broadway in 1955 and won seven Tony Awards. The story focuses on Joe Boyd, a happily married middle-aged man whose devotion to a hapless pro baseball team prompts him to make a Faustian bargain with the devil to help the team. He’s transformed into slugger Joe Hardy, in exchange for Boyd’s soul. Boyd can break the deal, but the deadline occurs during the World Series. For good measure, the devil engages Lola, a gorgeous lost soul, to seduce the slugger and seal his fate.
The film will mark the musical debut for both actors with Carrey expected to play the devil, and Gyllenhaal to play Boyd who was played by Tab Hunter in the 1958 original film.
Apparently Miramax took a stab at remaking the story five years ago but failed to get it together. The trouble appears an attempt to maintain the show’s classic tunes like “(You Gotta Have) Heart” and “Whatever Lola Wants,” while injecting a contemporary feel on a musical that is firmly rooted in the 1950s. For those not familiar with either, perhaps clicking play below will help jog your memory.