Saturday (7/28) is National Dance Day — in case you didn’t know. Flash mobs are expected to spring up all over the country. There will be at least one springing up at L.A.’s Music Center — with dance greats Debbie Allen and Adam Shankman on the scene. This we know from Shankman, who has a movie set in the flash mob scene that’s coming out Friday (7/27) — in case you didn’t know.
“Step Up Revolution,” the fourth installment of the hit dance movie franchise, which he produced, comes on the heels of the Shankman-directed “Rock of Ages” and amid Shankman’s judging appearances on “So You Think You Can Dance.”
How does he do it all? “All I have to do is not sleep and eat on the bus,” he says.
He gives credit to his sister and fellow producer, Jennifer Gibgot, for helping get “Step Up Revolution” made — and finding their talented fresh-faced leads, Kathryn McCormick and Ryan Guzman. The Shankman-Gibgot track record is awesome.
“We gave Zac Efron his first movie, and Channing Tatum his first movie,” Shankman reminds. To say Guzman is new to the dance movie scene is an understatement. “He’s a cage fighter; incredible! Not hard on the eyes. And he is very happy to take his shirt off,” Shankman lets us know.
“What’s nice about these movies is, they don’t need stars. They just need people who can do everything. They’re a great proving ground for directors,” Shankman says. And, as far as studio executives are concerned, “All they care about is, ‘Don’t go over budget.’ They’re incredibly difficult movies to do, so they leave us alone.”
Shankman wrapped his Tom Cruise starrer, “Rock of Ages,” on a Friday in Miami, and “Step Up” began production the following Monday. “We talked about wanting to set ‘Step Up’ someplace sexier, and I was having such a good experience with setting the ‘Rock of Ages’ production there, it made sense to piggy-back.”
Next on his agenda is the family comedy “This is Where I Leave You” — about a non-observant Jewish family forced to sit shiva together for a week to fulfill their departed father’s last wish — with Efron, Malin Ackerman and Jason Bateman. He is hoping to have that ready to begin shooting this fall — and after that, his non-dance, action-adventure version of “The Nutcracker.”
Non-dance? The guy who only wanted to be a chorus boy back when he was a young lad, who went on to become one of America’s best-known purveyors of the art of dance, doing “The Nutcracker” without dance?
“Oh, I’d never be involved in the dance one,” he says. “And be thrown up against the most brilliant choreographer ever — George Balanchine?” Expect Shankman’s version of the “Nutcracker” tale to be more like Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” than Balanchine’s version of the Tchaikovsky ballet.