When it comes to remakes, filmmakers usually talk about how they strive to maintain faithfulness to the original material. Not so in the case of Todd Graff who in an interview with MTV News has waxed lyrically about the changes in store for his contemporary update of the classic Faust-inspired musical “Damn Yankees”.
The story follows a baseball fanatic (Jake Gyllenhaal) who suddenly becomes the world’s greatest player after making a deal with the devil (Jim Carrey). “It should feel like ‘Jerry Maguire’ with songs. It should really feel like the real world of a major sports franchise and what would happen with this fantastical goofy, funny idea” says Graff.
One subplot will revolve around an unintended consequence of that sudden change – “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!'” says Graff.
The original revolved around the now gone Washington Senators team, Graff says the most obvious candidate for the remake is the Cubs.