It’s official! After months of rumors surrounding his involvement, Tom Cruise has inked a deal to rage as over-the-top metal super star Stacee Jaxx in the upcoming film adaptation of Broadway musical Rock of Ages, according to director Adam Shankman. Shankman, who previously helmed the screen adaptation of Hairspray, shared some details with E! News’ Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet of the Academy Awards.
"He can sing!" Shankman said of the Mission Impossible star. "It's a miracle!" In the film, Cruise’s character will wail the Bon Jovi hit “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Shankman reported that Cruise "is studying his vocals," and along with wife—and Broadway vet—Katie Holmes, he checked out a recent performance of the show at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, where American Idol alum Constantine Maroulis is headlining in the lead role of Drew.
Cruise joins the previously reported Mary J. Blige on the film’s list of official cast members. The Grammy-winning R&B singer will take on the role of strip club owner Justice, while plenty of Hollywood’s finest are still reportedly circling the project. Dancing With the Stars champ Julianne Hough is reportedly on the short list to play leading lady Sherrie, while Russell Brand is eyeing the role of narrator Lonny and Alec Baldwin is being touted as club owner Russell Dupree. Fresh off her gig as Oscar co-host, Anne Hathaway is said to be considering playing an uptight journalist hell-bent on writing a Stacee Jaxx expose. No word yet on who might play male lead Drew.
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 on hiatus until March 24, when it transfers to the Helen Hayes Theatre, received five Tony nominations (including Best Musical) after opening on April 7, 2009. The movie version is expected to begin filming in May 2011 and to be released in 2012.