Plain ol’ everyday Christopher Walken is terrific just the way he is. The strange deadpan. The madness in his eyes. All great. But Christopher Walken set to music is even greater, and Little Rootie Tootie may provide us all with something we didn’t know we desperately needed. Walken has, according to Deadline, signed on to star as a virtuoso jazz pianist who slowly spirals into madness after losing his wife. One has to ask, of course, whether Walken would really “slowly spiral” into madness, or just “take a slight step to the left” into madness, but that’s hardly the point. Little Rootie Tootie may provide the opportunity to see a far jazzier Walken than we’ve ever experienced before (at least, not since 1981’s Pennies From Heaven, which features a Walken-centric musical number you absolutely track down on YouTube).
Alongside Walken is Lenny Kravitz, who joins Little Rootie Tootie as the unstable pianist’s son. Kravitz’ character, along with his wife (who hasn’t been cast yet) are developing their own musical careers in Europe, when they’re forced to return and tend to Walken’s crumbling mental stability. Little Rootie Tootie will be directed by Dan Algrant, who with last year’s Greetings from Tim Buckley proved he can merge music and family tragedy with ease. With luck, he’ll provide the same gravitas to Walken’s delivery of the words “Little Rootie Tootie,” which I assume he’ll be uttering at some point in the film.