If you're in Philadelphia reading this, you may have noticed the trucks around City Hall last week where F. Gary Gray's "Law Abiding Citizen" was shooting. (You can read the location piece here.) The psychological thriller stars Jamie Foxx as an assistant DA who strikes a plea bargain with the murderer of the wife and daughter of Gerard Butler, who in turn exacts blood justice from the city and citizens.
Both Foxx, a classically-trained pianist and now chart-topping R & B artist, and Butler, who moonlighted in a rock band after earning his law degree, are musically-minded. Foxx won an Oscar for his turn as Ray Charles in the 2004 film -- the same year Butler put on a mask and sang the title role in the film "Phantom of the Opera." Can you think of a musical that they could make together? Butler told me that he'd love to play Harold Hill in "The Music Man" -- a charismatic con man I can also see Foxx as.
And if you can't think of a musical that would fit both these very different stars, then name your favorite Foxx and Butler movies. For me, Foxx's roles as Bundini Brown in "Ali" and as the cabbie unintimidated by Tom Cruise's hitman in "Collateral" (both from director Michael Mann) are his richest. And Butler's King Leonidas in "300" and his double role in "Nim's Island" has galvanizing physicality. Youthinks?