In the almost twenty years since it hit theaters and was designated a bomb, Universal's 2001 adaptation of Archie Comics's Josie and the Pussycats has become a cult sensation. The film, which stars Rachael Leigh Cook in the title role alongside Alan Cumming, Parker Posey, Rosario Dawson, and Tara Reid (among others), sees the girl band propelled to global superstardom after a record executive taps them to replace DuJour, a popular boy band whose plane had crashed, leaving them presumed dead. The movie, being a box office dud, never got a sequel -- although, apparently, there was briefly talk of trying to spin off DuJour.
In one sign of the film's enduring cult status, writer Maria Lewis and her co-host Blake Howard currently host Josie and the Podcats, a new miniseries available on Spotify that explores the film's history. It's there that filmmakers Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont revealed that they had -- fairly recently -- tried to pitch the idea to Netflix.
"We almost did a DuJour movie a couple of years ago," Kaplan told Josie and the Podcats.
"Yes," Elfont added. "We pitched it, with Seth [Green] and Breckin [Meyer], to Netflix. But it was before Popstar, and essentially it would have been Popstar."
The project would have been called Foursome, not DuJour (since Elfont and Kaplan don’t own the rights to the characters from the Josie & the Pussycats movie), but it would have been DuJour by any other name. According to Kaplan, "It was all bout them reuniting. Like, they had a massive falling out."
Besides Green and Meyer, Foursome, had it gone, likely would have starred Donald Faison of Scrubs and Kick-Ass 2 fame, and Can't Hardly Wait's Alexander Martin, who played the remaining two members of DuJour in Josie and the Pussycats. In the film, their apparent death in the plane crash was later revealed to have been an error: they successfully landed the plane, only to be brutally beaten by fans outside of a Metallica concert.
The Josie movie has also maintained a surprising cultural impact even for folks who were quite young when it debuted in theaters. Back when Riverdale was brand new, current Katy Keene star Ashleigh Murray said that she would love her Josie to get to share the screen with the movie's cast.
"It would be amazing if somehow all of the Pussycats from the movie made just like a cameo appearance in three different ways in three different situations," Murray told us at the time. "That would make me very happy. I don't know if there's any way that could happen, but maybe!"
You can buy or rent Josie and the Pussycats on DVD and streaming now.
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