There are some projects that studios hunt down mercilessly as though they were characters in Moby Dick. For 20th Century Fox, that has long been the rights to remake stage and, even more famously, movie musical Guys And Dolls. Finally, the deal is done and development can begin in earnest, with Fox executives running the idea past Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
No official talks have started yet, though according to Deadline, both actors are interested. The main roles are tough to fill, given that Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando played them in the 1955 version. Yet if anyone can handle it, these two have a shot.
The film’s plot, originally adapted from Damon Runyon’s short stories, finds roguish New York gambler Nathan Detroit (Sinatra in the original) looking to set up a big craps game. Trying to drum up the necessary funds, he accepts a bet that pal Sky Masterson (Brando) can’t convince wholesome missionary manager Sarah Brown (Jean Simmons) to come with him to Havana.
Frank Loesser penned the original music and lyrics for such classic tunes as 'Luck Be A Lady Tonight' and 'Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat' with a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. The stage version scored a Tony, while the film was nominated for four Oscars.
Several companies have tried to make a new Guys happen, but rights holder Jo Loesser – Frank’s widow – has turned down all deals until now.
Whether Tatum or Gordon-Levitt actually end up involved may come down to scheduling and who commits to writing and directing the eventual movie. Fox's executives will be hoping they have Lady Luck on their side...