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How to Walk Hard

12.28.2006

If you’re like me, you think the idea of a parody of musical biopics that is written and produced by friends and frequent collaborators Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan (and directed by Kasdan, known for helming ZERO EFFECT and ORANGE COUNTY) and starring John C. Reilly is about the most exciting thing there is. Thus is the premise of the upcoming WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY, which you may recall us telling you about earlier this month. We thought there may be a few of you out there who also think this movie sounds pretty genius so why not point you in the direction of a recent article from the LA Times’ Scriptland, in which the film’s 15-song soundtrack (also created by Apatow and Kasdan with the help of a variety of famous musical talents) is discussed at length? Unfortunately, you may not be able to read the article at the end of that link without the proper registration (give it a try, though), so below are some tasty excerpts.

"The movie charts the character's rise and fall and rise and fall that happens many, many times," says Kasdan, who is also directing the film. "He's addicted to pretty much everything you could possibly get addicted to, in and out of rehab, many, many children, and several wives.... It's an American epic."

After writing song titles and lyric fragments into the screenplay, Kasdan and Apatow reached out to musicians they admired who could use the script cues for songwriting inspiration. The brainstorming has resulted in songs like Cox's first huge hit, "Walk Hard"; a tune from his "dangerous period" called "Guilty as Charged" and songs from a protest album he turns out during his socially conscious political phase named "These Are My Issues."

As the song demos come in, Apatow, Kasdan and Reilly are tweaking and arranging them with Kasdan's usual composer, Mike Andrews ("Orange County," TV's "Freaks and Geeks"), to make sure they best fit both the character and Reilly's style. The songs aren't straight parodies in the Weird Al Yankovic vein, but "good songs that are funny within the context of the movie," Kasdan says. "Some of them are kind of jokey, and some are less jokey. For the purposes of the movie, we don't want the comedy to be dependent on listening to the lyrical content of the song line for line. It's got to work in a sequence."

Though Kasdan showed off his songwriting skills in his first film, "Zero Effect," which included star Bill Pullman performing two songs they had co-written, he and Apatow will not be performing on the "Walk Hard" soundtrack. "We both play really mediocre adolescent Jewish-boy-who-loved-Bob-Dylan, campfire-type guitar," Kasdan jokes. "We both know the same six chords."

Again, Head HERE for the full article. WALK HARD is slated for a 2008 release.

Extra Tidbit: Martin Chrenshaw, Dan Bern, Charlie Wadhams, Candy Butchers co-founder Mike Viola, and Van Dyke Parks, a legendary composer who’s collaborated with Randy Newman and Brian Wilson, are amongst the musical talent involved in WALK HARD’s soundtrack. Reilly will be doing his own singing on these songs.
Source: LA Times

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