Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Mary J. Blige Joins Tom Cruise for “Rock of Ages”


“Rock of Ages,” the Broadway musical about pop and rock music from the 1980s, is getting a surprise addition to its cast. Of course, you’ve read about Tom Cruise taking the lead role–and it’s true. I’m told Cruise has signed off on the project. And while there’s been speculation that Gwyneth Paltrow is joining Cruise, that still has not materialized. In the meantime, I can tell you exclusively that the Queen of Hip Hop, Miss Mary J. Blige has signed on to play Justice, the bartender and mother of the character named Sherrie. One of Justice’s main songs is the 80s chestnut, “Harden My Heart.” Mary J is absolutely perfect casting.

Blige, who has a huge following from her music career, has been trying to move into film for some time. She’s trying to put together a film bio the legendary singer, Nina Simone, which sources say may be coming together soon. But “Rock of Ages” will give her a chance to make a supporting splash and not have to carry the film on her back. Cruise, by the way, despite all the noise around his possible participation, only agreed finally to do the film on Friday.

Mary J is certainly busy these days. She also just filmed a video remix of Sean Diddy Combs’s “Someone to Love” with Combs and Lil Wayne that’s said to be amazing. On Saturday night, she sang Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris” as part of a tribute to David Geffen at Clive Davis’s pre Grammy gala.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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