I get why you’d change the team in a remake of Damn Yankees - after all, the Washington Senators don’t exist anymore. And making the team the Cubs, who just can’t stop losing, also makes lots of sense. But dropping many of the songs from the classic musical and then adding new ones – including one about steroids? Well, when this is all the brainchild of the guy behind Bandslam I’m going to be a touch skeptical.
Todd Graff talked to MTV about his remake, which will feature Jake Gyllenhaal as a fan who sells his soul to the Devil (Jim Carrey) in order to become the greatest baseball player of all time. Graff thinks you couldn’t remake Damn Yankees without ‘roids. Says Graff:
“If a character like Joe Hardy — who’s the character in ‘Damn Yankees’ — sprung out of nowhere and was hitting 70 home runs in a season, who would not think immediately ‘steroids’… So [steroids] is not even a side character for us; it’s our main character. No one is going to think, ‘Oh, it’s because he made a deal with the devil!’ They’d think, ‘He’s juicing!’ “
While Graff is losing many numbers – and adding up to six new songs – he is keeping What Lola Wants, which is a no-brainer. Graff says that his version is going to be Jerry Maguire with songs, and I’m not sure how that’s supposed to make us feel good about it.
Graff also remains mum on what role Ted Nugent will have in this version. Tommy Shaw has already been confirmed to be a Louisville Slugger.