EXCLUSIVE: Russell Brand is the latest actor looking to lend his voice to Rock of Ages, the Adam Shankman-directed screen adaptation of the stage musical at New Line. I’m told that Brand is circling the role of Lonnie, who runs the ’80s rock club The Bourbon for owner Dennis (the role that Alec Baldwin is circling). Brand and Baldwin get to sing a rousing version of the REO Speedwagon tune Can’t Fight This Feeling. Brand previously worked with Shankman in Bedtime Stories. and Warner Bros is high on him after he filmed the title role in the Arthur remake. Brand convincingly played bad boy rocker Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek. The film is heating up with the expectation that Tom Cruise will close a deal to play the decadent rock star Stacee Jax shortly. After that, all of the pieces will fall into place quickly for a May production start. Script by the musical’s book writer, Chris D’Arienzo, has gotten a rewrite by Little Miss Sunshine’s Michael Arndt. The big number for Cruise, by the way, is Wanted Dead Or Alive. We’ve all mangled that Bon Jovi song in the car or in the shower, but I’m told that Cruise can handle it.
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