The road from screen to stage is a crowded one—witness this season’s Broadway debuts of Ghost, Once, and Newsies. But traffic does, on occasion, flow in the opposite direction, as we were reminded yesterday by the release of the official trailer for Rock of Ages, based on the hit 2009 jukebox musical that’s crammed with epic glam metal hits from the ’80s. The film, due out in June, centers on Stacee Jaxx, the lead singer of the band Arsenal, played here by Tom Cruise, all greasy hair extensions and rippling back muscles. While the trailer does not prove either way whether Cruise’s singing skills are up to chops—he has but one sung line, from Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”—the film’s aggressively louche aesthetic is obvious, as Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Paul Giamatti prowl around in leather, leopard-print, and shoulder pads, accompanied by a monkey in a studded jacket named Hey, Man.
On the basis of this trailer, Rock of Ages is nothing exciting, new, or even all that entertaining, but celebrity-studded stage-to-screen adaptations have a strong track record, albeit one that seems based largely on the name recognition of the musical in question, a factor that would seem to work against the film’s favor. Sure, the show is a long-running hit both on Broadway and in London’s West End, and the second national tour is going strong, but Rock of Ages is no Chicago or Mamma Mia, or even Hairspray, a previous effort from director Adam Shankman that starred Zac Efron and John Travolta in drag. Rather, Rock of Ages seems about on the level of the 2009 flop Nine, which featured Daniel Day-Lewis and a bevy of gorgeous women (Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Marion Cotillard, and Penelope Cruz among them), but grossed only $19 million in the U.S. But if you’ve always wanted to see a sweaty, shirtless Tom Cruise writhe around onstage in eyeliner and a headscarf, this might be your only chance.