Oscar-winning producer Graham King's GK Films has prevailed in a bidding war for the feature film rights to the Broadway musical "Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons," reports Deadline.
King will produce with his GK Films partner Tim Headington, while Valli and Bob Gaudio will exec produce.
Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice will write the script, having written the book for the Tony Award-winning musical.
The reportedly "groundbreaking" deal is said to be in the substantial seven-figure range.
Evidently, all of Hollywood has been chasing the rights to the play, which has done over $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales since it opened on Broadway in 2005 under the direction of Des McAnuff.
DreamWorks reportedly pursued the property for Steven Spielberg, while Warner Bros. and Fox made bids on behalf of producers Donald De Line and Peter Chernin, respectively. Even Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman wanted in on the musical action. Alas, it was GK Films that outbid the competition and came away with the rights to make what should be a sure-fire hit.
GK Films' Julie Roach brokered the deal along with ICM's Jeff Berg, The Four Seasons' Peter Bennett and attorneys Ken Ziffren and David Lande. The musical had stayed off the Hollywood market for years, until preferred suitors were informed six weeks ago that the film rights had become available.
The play follows Valli, Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi from their humble, blue-collar beginnings to the formation and ascent to stardom of the band, which sold 175 million records before any of its members turned 30-years-old. The film will feature many of the group's hits, including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Rag Doll," "Oh What a Night" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."
Musicals are becoming all the rage thanks to the incredible success of Universal and Playtone's "Mamma Mia!," which grossed more than $600 million worldwide. Playtone is developing a big screen adaptation of the Green Day musical "American Idiot, while Universal is in the process of bringing "In the Heights" and "Wicked" to a theater near you.
GK Films recently announced another music-based movie about the rock band Queen, which will star Sacha Baron Cohen as flamboyant singer Freddie Mercury.