The two words “Jailhouse Rock” bring to mind – for a certain audience, at least – images of Elvis Presley jiggling away in the slammer for one of his musical movie hits.
But now Disney is claiming the name, and slapping it on the true story of a Pop Idol-style singing competition that was held in an Arizona lock up. Director Brian Robbins, the man we all have to “thank” for bringing the world Norbit, has signed on to direct the new movie.
Based on an article by Joshuah Bearman in US mag LA Weekly, Rock will focus on the tale of Bret Kaiser, and former heavy metal muso turned prison officer at Arizona’s massive Tent City jail. He dreamt up an idea for a competition and gathered thousands of inmates for what he called the Inmate Idle Singing Cont-Test, which ended up rallying the prisoners around the contestants and really cutting into the violence. Alice Cooper even showed up to judge the finale.
"I don't see this as a prison movie as much as about the healing power of music," Robbins blabbed to Variety. "Like Coach Carter, which came from a newspaper article we read, there's nothing better than real-life drama."
Now all we need is a scene in which angry prisoners treat Simon Cowell to the thrashing of his smug life. And let’s not hire a stunt double, mmkay?