Grammy winner Mary J. Blige is in talks to join the upcoming film adaptation of Rock of Ages, according to New York magazine. Blige would play Justice, the owner of the Venus Club strip joint, a role originated and still played onstage by Michele Mais. Tom Cruise is also said to be in discussion to star in the film, though New York reports that Cruise may be eyeing the role of rock star Stacee Jaxx over club owner Dennis Dupree, as previously reported.
Blige, who has received eight Grammy Awards and sold more than 15 million albums, has appeared on film in I Can Do Bad All By Myself and will star as Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic about the iconic singer. Her TV guest appearances include Strong Medicine, Ghost Whisperer and playing herself on Entourage.
Rock of Ages is set in 1987 on the Sunset Strip, where a small town girl meets a big city rocker in L.A.’s most famous rock club. Their love story is told through the hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Asia, Whitesnake and many more. The musical, which is currently running at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, received five Tony nominations (including Best Musical) after opening on April 7, 2009.
Adam Shankman, who helmed the movie version of Broadway musical Hairspray, will direct the film version of Rock of Ages, and librettist Chris D’Arienzo is signed on as the screenwriter. The movie is expected to begin filming in January 2011 and to be released in 2012.