It looked briefly as though Ryan Gosling might make his directorial debut with the re-working of Taylor Hackford’s 1980 music drama The Idolmaker, only for that idea to vanish back into the ether almost as quickly as it arrived. MGM appears to have found a director, one versed in blending music with movies, in Hustle & Flow/Footloose man Craig Brewer.
The original film starred Ray Sharkey as a music promoter who stops at nothing to turn his two young talents into big stars. It’s based on the life of Robert Phillip "Bob" Marcucci, who worked his way up to become a personal manager, first at Chancellor Records, then his own Robert P. Marcucci Productions, where he discovered and shepherded the career of such musicians as ‘50s/’60s teen idol Fabian and fellow warbling heartthrob Frankie Avalon. Marcucci later went on to become an occasional movie producer, and died in 2011.
MGM has had this one on the books as a likely library title to revisit since the same year, securing Justin Timberlake to produce alongside Hawk Koch and Gene Kirkwood. It remains to be seen how the new version will update the story for the current era, though the idea of pushy music promoters hasn’t changed much even if the rest of the industry has.
Brewer, who was briefly attached to the new live action Tarzan film, is also developing The Gangster Princess Of Beverly Hills and a biopic of baseball player Charley Pride.