Stallone producing a Rocky musical with the Klitschko brothers. Wait, what?

I cover the film industry for a living, and as absurd as it is, it still doesn’t hold a candle to theater, where writing songs about a movie and hiring a washed-up sitcom star to play the lead are considered innovation. Case in point: Sylvester Stallone is teaming up with Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, the two most boring heavyweight champions of all time, to produce a stage musical based on Rocky. Boxing and showtunes: two great tastes that taste great together. More than anything in the world, I want it to be true that Sly signed the contract with his fancy skull pen.

Stallone and the Klitschkos, who will produce Rocky: The Musical together with Kevin King Templeton of Stallone’s Rouge Marble shingle, announced the project in Hamburg on Monday.

“They kept jabbing me and jabbing me about it, and eventually I just got so bored that I agreed to everything they wanted.”

Stallone said in giving the pugilist classic the Andrew Lloyd Webber treatment he would be focusing on Rocky’s romantic side.
“At the end of the day, Rocky is a love story and he could never have reached the final bell without Adrian,” said Stallone. “To see this story coming to life on a musical stage makes me proud. And it would make Rocky proud.”

“At the end of the day, saying ‘at the end of the day’ doesn’t make the statement it prefaces any less ridiculous. A fictional character I created taught me that.”

In addition to co-producing, the Klitchko brothers will train the lead actor, who has not yet been cast, in the sweet science.

Holy shit, really? That’d be like getting Tim Duncan to mentor the cast of the next And1 mixtape. Crap, I just tried to explain a sports reference with an even more esoteric sports reference, didn’t I. Okay, how about this — the Klitschko brothers are to boxing what Ken Burns is to documentary.

Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers will direct. Ragtime’s Tony-award winning lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty will re-team for the music, which will include songs from the Rocky films, among them “Eye of the Tiger,” “Gonna Fly Now” and “Take You Back.”

Call me crazy, but I think they should’ve gotten Sting.

Budgeted at $15 million, Rocky: The Musical will have its world debut, in German, in Hamburg November 2012. Stallone plans to then take the musical on the road to stages worldwide. [THR]

15 million?!? I must have drastically underestimated the cost of jump ropes and hooded sweatshirts. Anyway, you probably can’t see it through the boxing gloves, but I’m jazz-handsing pretty hard right now.