The film adaptation of "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" has cast its Carole! Daisy Edgar-Jones, recent Golden Globe nominee for Under the Banner of Heaven and star of Where the Crawdads Sing, will play the role of Carole King.
As creators of all-female tribute band Natural Woman: A Tribute to Carole King, Piano Party is ultra excited about the development of this biopic--so much so that we have already begun fantasy casting the rest of the roles in the film. Just for fun, here are our blue sky ideas for which actors should star alongside Miss Daisy as Carole King in the story of her life:
GERRY GOFFIN: Ben Platt
Who thinks Mr. Evan Hansen is already out there gunning for this role? He has the proven acting and singing chops and the musical theatre street cred for such a high profile party, although he was read for filth for playing the title role in the Dear Evan Hansen movie long after he could pass for a high schooler on film alongside his fresh-faced co-stars. Gerry and Carole were not much older than Evan when they started making hits together.
CYNTHIA WEIL & BARRY MANN / Jane Levy & Skylar Astin
Wouldn't it be great fun to reunite not only Skylar and Ben from their Pitch Perfect days but also Skylar and Jane from "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist?!" These two definitely have the chemistry to portray songwriting superstars and longtime lovebirds Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann who created classic tunes like On Broadway and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling. Did you know that Beautiful originated as the story of Carole and Gerry and Cynthia and Barry? The focus shifted to Carole's life when the show's creators realized the strength of Act II would be in the iconic songs from Carole's seminal album Tapestry.
DON KIRSHNER / Andrew Garfield
Everybody knows Andrew Garfield from his Amazing turn as Spider-Man, but ever since we saw him as Broadway composer Jonathan Larson in Tick, Tick...Boom! (starring alongside one of our Piano Party musicians), we've been dying to see him in another musical. He could reunite with his "Under the Banner of Heaven" co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones as publisher and producer Don Kirschner to her singer-songwriter Carole King. Kirschner founded the publishing company Aldon Music with his partner Al Nevins (get it...Al + Don?) but Nevins is not featured as a character in the musical "Beautiful." Time will tell if Al's story will be told in the film version. Other Aldon artists included Neil Diamond, Paul Simon, Tony Orlando, and Phil Spector.
GENIE KLEIN / Lauren Graham
"Parenthood," Bad Santa, and "Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" star Lauren Graham has a special connection to Carole King's story. Carole and her daughter revised and re-recorded the lyrics to Carole's song "Where You Lead" as the theme song for the hit show "Gilmore Girls," for which Lauren Graham is arguably best known. Graham also starred with Jane Levy and Skylar Astin in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist so this fantasy film cast could be one big tv family reunion! Because Carole King was not only the "Gilmore Girls" theme song writer and performer but a recurring guest star as well in the original show and the ensuing mini-series. Did you notice she is pictured above seated behind Lauren Graham in a still from the "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" set? King is no stranger to acting with credits in Blood Brothers on Broadway and other tv, film, and voice acting roles.
LOU ADLER / Josh Groban
Record producer Lou Adler is a pivotal figure in the Carole King story; his influence and encouragement led to the creation of Tapestry and the rest is history! We think he resembles Chris O'Dowd from Bridesmaids but in keeping with Adler's Jewish heritage, an actor like Josh Groban would be an excellent fit to portray him. Whether he'd get to show off those famous pipes in the film would remain to be seen, but he could flex his acting muscles built from starring in "The Good Cop" on Netflix, Crazy Stupid Love, Muppets Most Wanted, "Ally McBeal," and as the title character in ABC's Beauty and the Beast 30th anniversary special (the Beast, not the Beauty). On Broadway Groban also originated the role of Pierre in Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812 and will play another title character in the upcoming revival of Sweeney Todd.
LITTLE EVA / Quinta Brunson
We have no doubt that the titanically talented social media star-turned-"Abbott Elementary" creator/writer/director/star/Emmy winner/Time most influential person/all-around superstar Quinta Brunson would chew up every bit of the scenery and leave no crumbs in this fun cameo role, just like she did as Oprah in another musical bio(-ish-)pic, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.
NEIL SEDAKA / Charlie Puth
It takes a teen idol to know a teen idol. We think a cutie patoot like Charlie Puth would bring the camp in a cameo role like Neil Sedaka. Neil wrote "Oh! Carol" for King before she added the "e" to the end of her stage name. She wrote and released the playful response "Oh! Neil" the same year.
THE DRIFTERS / Kelvin Harrison Jr., Donald Glover, Chance the Rapper, Leslie Odom Jr.
Casting the The Drifters would be a priceless opportunity to assemble a sensational supergroup of stars like Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino,) Leslie Odom Jr., Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Chance the Rapper. All are successful actors AND musicians and you know every single one of them would look mighty fine in those dapper '60s fits.
THE SHIRELLES / Keke Palmer, Janelle Monae, Mickey Guyton, Solange Knowles
Another irresistible chance to put together a stunning supergroup would be casting The Shirelles who first sang Carole King and Gerry Goffin's breakout songwriting hit "Will You Love Me Tomorrow." Powerhouse singers like Janelle Monae, Keke Palmer, Mickey Guyton, and Solange who are all amazing actors as well would give fans an exciting moment to look out for when the film is released.
"GIRL GROUP" / Andra Day & Chloe x Halle
In the musical version of "Beautiful," a fictional star named Janelle Woods and her backup singers stand in for non-fictional girl group The Chiffons singing "One Fine Day." Janelle also represents real-life a romantic entanglement Gerry Goffin had with another girl group singer. Assuming perhaps for legal reasons the filmmakers may again avoid referencing the real people involved in this storyline, why not trim the quartet down to a trio in order to reunite Oscar nominee Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) with singing superstars Chloe x Halle who opened for her on tour in 2016. Along with her obvious acting and singing talents, Andra's beautiful vintage aesthetic would make her a perfect fit for the role of a stunning chanteuse who caught the attention of Gerry Goffin away from Carole King.
RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS / Kodi Smit-McPhee and Austin Butler
Last but not least, we had to fan cast Kodi Smit-McPhee as Bill Medley and Austin Butler as Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers, not only because it would be too much fun to reunite these Elvis co-stars--and with Austin Butler back to blonde--but because even though Butler's King-like singing voice would be more fitting of Bill Medley's vocal range, the physical resemblance of Smit-McPhee to a young Medley is frankly uncanny.
That rounds out our fantasy cast of the apparently as yet untitled "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" film adaptation. (Or perhaps it's simply called "Beautiful," as the In Development page on IMDb may indicate.) We can't wait to hear more casting news about this exciting upcoming film! And if you literally can't wait to hear all these classic Carole King tunes like "I Feel the Earth Move," "It's Too Late," "You've Got a Friend," and of course "Beautiful," book Natural Woman: A Tribute to Carole King to perform them for you live! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and follow along for more blog posts about our Piano Party performers, events, music, and more!