Good news, Captain Jack fanatics (but not that Captain Jack): Variety reports today that a new biopic of musical superstar Billy Joel is currently in the works. Is it called Piano Man? You bet your ass it’s called Piano Man.
But while we’d never question whether Joel’s climb from Long Island hopeful, to arena-dominating piano god, to Chuck Klosterman thinkpiece muse, is a particularly compelling story, we do feel moved to note that Joel himself is not involved at all in this project, which feels like something of a misstep. At the very least, we can’t help but dread hearing someone try to do a soundalike version of “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant.” (“Debbie and Dougie were still being frisky, in the autumn of ’73!”)
Instead, the project will tackle Joel’s career from an alternative (and, presumably, cheaper and less picky) angle: That of his first manager, Irwin Mazur, who discovered Joel when he was only 16. Also heavily involved: Adam Ripp, son of Artie Ripp, the guy who produced Joel’s first solo album after his previous duo act, Attila, dissolved in a cloud of acrimony and aos Billy Joel sleeping with his bandmate’s wife. (Again: We’re not saying this won’t be kind of juicy.)
Piano Man is being produced by Michael Jai White’s Jaigantic Studios, which, say whatever else you want about this project, but that’s a hell of a studio name pun, huh? Mazur and Ripp both issued statements about how excited they are to embark on this project, despite the fact that neither of them are, in fact, Billy Joel. Variety notes that musical needs for the project are “yet to be determined” by producers, and, again: If you need us to write something, we’ve got about a million parody drafts for “Downtown Lady” and “Who Could Have Commenced This Conflagration?” just rarin’ to go.
Oh, also! (And we’re kicking ourselves for almost missing this.) White gave his own statement asserting that “Billy Joel is the key figure on the Mount Rushmore of American Music,” so if you’re now imagining a Mount Rushmore with four Billy Joel heads on it, don’t worry: We’re right there with you.
No word on when Piano Man might be heading to theaters.