If you live in New York, you may have caught the Broadway musical Rock of Ages, and left high on hairspray and Whitesnake. But most of us will be encountering this little-hit-that-could in its big screen incarnation. Late last year, Tobey Maguire and New Line bought the rights to the musical with an eye to bringing it to the multiplex (a bidding war that involved three studios). Now Variety reports that it's setting out on the right foot by hiring Adam Shankman as its director. The film will go into production next summer, and is aiming to hit theaters in 2011.

The story of Rock of Ages isn't terribly original. A couple meets at the Sunset Strip club Rock of ages, fall in love, and try to stay together amid the sex, drugs, and excess of 1980s rock. Their turmoils are all set to the tunes of Journey, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Joan Jett, and Jon Bon Jovi. Like Mamma Mia!, it's all an excuse for a great nostalgic soundtrack, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Shankman tells Variety that he was itching to get back into musical territory after Hairspray, and sees Rock of Ages as a distinctly masculine musical: "When I watched Rock of Ages, I was struck by the fact that not only had much of the audience seen it more than once, every guy in the audience knew the words to the songs. I thought, 'This is Mamma Mia! for dudes.' What an extraordinary opportunity to open the genre to an audience that otherwise wouldn't go see a musical." If this could succeed in converting ordinary men to musicals (something Hugh Jackman hasn't even managed), I will love it on principle. Maybe it'll even bring back big hair -- and yes, I wish for that every day because I never got to rock that look.

Pop below the jump for a little Rock of Ages from the Tony Awards. Think it'll convert the menfolk out there?
categories Movies, Cinematical