Producer previews new 'Fame' music: 'They're going to give it some modern-day spin'

Even though High School Musical 3 is the biggest thing on the planet right now, you should remember this name—Fame. Filming starts next month on a remake of the 1980 musical charmer, with rehearsals already in progress. “It’s not that far off from the original,” says Lauren Christy, whose production team the Matrix (Britney Spears) is composing new tunes for the movie’s soundtrack. Sadly, EW.com has learned that the beloved finale, “I Sing the Body Electric,” has morphed into a three-act opus called “Hold Your Dream.” But “Out Here on My Own”—sung by star Naturi Naugh­ton, who also plays Lil’ Kim in the Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious—is back, as is the seminal title track.

Production execs on the film (to be released in fall ’09) say “many high-profile artists” have inquired about rerecording the Oscar-winning classic, so we asked Christy, who’s not involved with that track, for her top three choices: “Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, or Ashley Tisdale. I’m quite a fan of Ashley’s. She’s just a real star.” (Head over to PopWatch and let us know who YOU think should redo the song.)

Our Q&A with Christy after the jump.

EW.COM: How did you get involved with the Fame project?
LAUREN CHRISTY:
I was such a fan of the original movie, and I went to a performing arts
school just like it, so it’s very close to my heart. When I heard that
they were doing a new version and needed people to work on the
soundtrack, I said, “We have to do it.” [Matrix partners] Graham
[Edwards] and Scott [Spock] were like, “Don’t stop Lauren. She’s really
crazy to do this.” But once they saw the original movie, they realized
how significant it was. And nowadays, with the whole of America
watching American Idol, everyone wants to be an entertainer. I think the new version is going to be really relevant.

Were you at all apprehensive about a remake of a movie that’s so beloved?
I
spoke to the director [Kevin Tancharoen] and said, “You are going to
make this one better, right?” I don’t want to be involved with
something that’s worse than the original. I really believe in his
vision on this—because when you go back to the original, it really is
of that era. They’re going to give it some modern-day spin, but it’s
going to be fabulous.

You say the script isn’t far from the original, but what about the tunes?
The
music is different, except for “Out Here On My Own.” That was a huge
thing for me because it was the audition song that I did everywhere
when I was an entertainer. When we started on the project, I had an
amazing moment in the studio when I had to sing the song, and my
brother, who is a piano player and producer, recorded it. I actually
got to live out my dream before they bring in the real singer to do it.

Some of the original songs we could live without, but “I Sing the Body Electric” is the greatest!
They couldn’t go with
exactly that same song, but “Hold Your Dream” is really great. We didn’t write it, so I’m not blowing
my own horn or anything, it’s got exactly the same
feel to it, with the three different styles of music and the completely
different styles of dance. I couldn’t believe they weren’t
going to use “The Body Electric” either, but when I heard the song, I went, “Okay, I
get it. It’s more ‘now,'” and it’s going to work.

As far as the characters, their names are new, too, right? Coco and Leroy are now Denise and Marco?
It’s definitely all different. It’s made for kids that never saw the original, but it’s going to be hip and cool.

EW.COM: How did you get involved with the Fame project?
LAUREN CHRISTY:I was such a fan of the original movie, and I went to a performing artsschool just like it, so it’s very close to my heart. When I heard thatthey were doing a new version and needed people to work on thesoundtrack, I said, "We have to do it." [Matrix partners] Graham[Edwards] and Scott [Spock] were like, "Don’t stop Lauren. She’s reallycrazy to do this." But once they saw the original movie, they realizedhow significant it was. And nowadays, with the whole of Americawatching American Idol, everyone wants to be an entertainer. I think the new version is going to be really relevant.

Were you at all apprehensive about a remake of a movie that’s so beloved?
Ispoke to the director [Kevin Tancharoen] and said, "You are going tomake this one better, right?" I don’t want to be involved withsomething that’s worse than the original. I really believe in hisvision on this—because when you go back to the original, it really isof that era. They’re going to give it some modern-day spin, but it’sgoing to be fabulous.

You say the script isn’t far from the original, but what about the tunes?
Themusic is different, except for "Out Here On My Own." That was a hugething for me because it was the audition song that I did everywherewhen I was an entertainer. When we started on the project, I had anamazing moment in the studio when I had to sing the song, and mybrother, who is a piano player and producer, recorded it. I actuallygot to live out my dream before they bring in the real singer to do it.

Some of the original songs we could live without, but "I Sing the Body Electric" is the greatest!
They couldn’t go withexactly that same song, but "Hold Your Dream" is really great. We didn’t write it, so I’m not blowingmy own horn or anything, it’s got exactly the samefeel to it, with the three different styles of music and the completelydifferent styles of dance. I couldn’t believe they weren’tgoing to use "The Body Electric" either, but when I heard the song, I went, "Okay, Iget it. It’s more ‘now,’" and it’s going to work.

As far as the characters, their names are new, too, right? Coco and Leroy are now Denise and Marco?
It’s definitely all different. It’s made for kids that never saw the original, but it’s going to be hip and cool.

Comments (14 total) Add your comment
  • wg

    Hmmm… trying to withhold judgement on this one until I hear more. But that original soundtrack is one of the most perfect ever put together. They’ve got a LOT to live up to.

  • ger

    Now I can’t get “I Sing the Body Electric” out of my head. That song ruled. I’m going to miss it.

  • MsDaisy

    Skip the remake and make the kiddies watch the original.

  • Jeffrey

    Why not just only remake old movies and never write any new ones at all? Or t.v. shows either? Maybe that’s a good idea?

  • FameFan

    I will greatly miss “Dogs In The Yard” and it is near impossible to imagine this remake without “I Sing The Body Electric”

  • megan

    made for people who never saw the original? why bother? they should just repackage and remarket the classic and make kids go see that one. who wants a “fame” without all the original music? DUMB IDEA.

  • withheld

    I Totally agree with MS DAISY. I WENT to and graduated from the original HS of performing arts in NYC and no remake will get the feel of the original school like the original movie. Maybe they oughta just bring the original back to the theatres and then the big wigs out there can earn the money they are looking for. Greed

  • Gemma M

    Ashley Tisdale as singing Fame…that instantly puts me off as she doesn’t have the right voice for it!! all the good songs being removed?? this is another thing that will let it down…just been in the theatre version and it was awesome….a remake just seems so wrong of Fame as it will not be the same…somethings are better left well alone!! (and if they remove FAME the title song…it definately will be a flop!!)

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  • jessica :]]

    haha, they’re filming it at my school
    :D
    (university high)

  • aabf

    I went to the school that this is based on.

  • shazia

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  • pavithra

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