According to Variety Magazine, Debbie Allen, Charles S. Dutton, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullally and Bebe Neuwirth are set for the roles of instructors and supervisors in an upcoming remake of the 1980 award-winning musical Fame.
It's been quite a few years since I watched the original - in fact, I was a child then, and I barely remember it. However, I think I enjoyed it mostly, and was even moved by what I saw and heard. I'll have to pick up and watch it again, reacquainting myself with Leroy, Coco, Bruno, Ralph and the rest of the cast.
In recalling it, as I type up this entry, thoughts of the Broadway musical hit Rent enter my mind. There are obvious similarities between the two - each takes place in New York, with a cast of racially diverse characters, all quite young, and all artists with dilemmas.
And just as Fame (the movie) was eventually adapted for the theatre stage, Rent (the Broadway production) received big screen Hollywood attention. Neither branch resonated with audiences in the same way as the originals that they were adapted from.
I'm not sure whether this remake of Fame will attract lovers of the original, or an entirely new generation of fans. I'd say neither, especially if it's packaged as a reinterpretation of an original. MGM would probably be best served by creating a product that stands on its own merits, but I don't see that happening.
It seems like an unnecessary endeavor. But I suppose the success of the recent High School Musical series encouraged the project's greenlight.
Production begins Wednesday, with Kevin Tancharoen directing - whose previous projects have all been for television. His IMDB resume states that he is also an experienced dancer and choreographer, which gives his hire for the job some weight.
As with the 1980 original, the remake will follow dancers, singers, actors and artists from auditions to graduation at the New York City High School of Performing Arts.
Charles Dutton will play a graduate of Yale School of Drama and an acting teacher; Debbie Allen, who, by the way, made her feature debut in the original "Fame," has been cast as the school's principal.
Irene Cara, whose career was helped tremendously by the 1980s original, will be noticeably absent.
Fame (the reboot) has been set for September 25, 2009 release.
How about a quick refresher: