You probably remember Danny Strong as young Jonathan Levinson on Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Roger Sterling’s diminutive nemesis on Mad Men, but did you know he’s not just a funny actor capable of delivering Whedon-style quips? He’s also the writer of a small, indie movie called Hunger Games: Mockingjay that I’ve never heard of but am told is popular with the young adult crowd, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which starred Forest Whitaker and Oprah as a rich couple that wants to hire a butler… I think.
Today, Playbill.com (yes, that’s a thing. shut up), is reporting that Strong has been tapped to write a remake of the movie that was an adaptation of a stage musical, Guys and Dolls… which is a musical take on a collection of short stories by Damon Runyon. Much like the original source material, the musical tells the story of professional gamblers, small-time crooks and the women who love them in 1940s New York City. There’s an illegal, floating crap game, a beautiful missionary with a heart of gold, and Stubby Kaye… well, he was in the stage version and also the movie, but now he’s dead so probably not him. Unless they go hologram with it like at Coachella.
Frank Loesser’s music and lyrics are probably best remembered by the song, “Luck be A Lady”, but are at their best during “Adelaide’s Lament,” or even the titular “Guys & Dolls.” My personal favorite, however, is the opening number “Fugue for Tinhorns,” which follows three degenerate gamblers as they debate which horse to bet on in an upcoming race.
The most famous version (arguably the best) is the 1955 big-screen adaptation starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando, but the musical has also lived through several successful revivals. The 1992 Broadway revival was critically acclaimed, and featured Nathan Lane as leading man, Nathan Detroit. Although with Strong at the helm we could be on the verge of a clever new interpretation of this classic.
Are you excited to see Strong’s take on the source material? Do you wish Jay-Z had more involvement? Tell us all of the thoughts in your head, or just the ones relevant to this post, in the comments below!