The runaway mine cart ride that is the year 2020 is speeding towards the daylight and we’re all just hanging on for dear life here and now, at the very end, the rails are starting to give way as yet another piece of news designed to shatter our wills threatens to upset the entire affair and send us all plummeting into the inky void below. Scott Stapp, frontman of Creed, will make his acting debut as Frank Sinatra in an upcoming biopic about the life of former President Ronald Reagan.
None of us are sweet summer children anymore and we all know better than to ask “why?” In 2020, you don’t ask why. You just grit your teeth and accept that life in the Upside Down is full of inexplicable mysteries. You start thinking about any of this for too long and your already fragile mind might just split asunder. For example, asking why they cast the former Creed frontman as Sinatra might lead you to ask what Frank Sinatra is doing in a Ronald Reagan biopic. And then you might wonder why a Reagan biopic is being filmed during a global pandemic that has halted the global economy and set Hollywood into a tailspin. And then you might start wondering about the cruel taskmaster of Consumerism itself, which demands to be constantly fed by our unceasing labor lest it topple the precarious global order altogether.
So, much better to just let all this be. Scott Stapp is playing Frank Sinatra. Sure. There’s going to be a Reagan movie, starring Denis Quaid as the Gipper himself, the Hollywood actor who eventually pivoted to politics and set a new blueprint for several generations of conservative identity. Great. The movie will be directed by Sean McNamara, who most recently directed Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite! Sounds about right. Mena Suvari will play Jane Wyman, Reagan’s first wife. That part is a little strange, since Reagan was just six years older than Wyman and there’s about a 25-year age difference between Quaid and Suvari but, again, if we started thinking about that too much we’d start questioning the film industry’s baked-in misogyny at the core level which just sounds like a lot of work for the end of the year. Plus, this sort of age gap is pretty on brand for Quaid, who married his 27-year-old wife in 2019. That sparked all sorts of plot comparisons to Quaid’s Parent Trap movie which released in 1998 which, wouldn’t you know it, was just a year before Creed’s Human Clay released.
Hey, speaking of Creed, let’s circle back to Scott Stapp here. In a statement, director McNamara notes that “Scott’s known for big, high energy performances so it was a thrill to see him shift gears to embody Sinatra’s contained charisma.” There’s at least an implicit acknowledgement here that the casting move is sort of an odd choice but hey, if Stapp can shift gears, more power to him. We’re all just doing the best we can this year and anyone who gets a chance to try something new in 2020 should be commended for doing so. From a certain light, this news is actually a reminder to never let your past limit you and to always be seeking out new opportunities and taking new risks. And even if that risk is the one that sends our runaway mine cart all the way off the rails just before we exit the tunnel, at least you can rest assured that you took the bold choice and now can welcome the exhilarating terror of tumbling into the blackness with arms wide open.
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's senior editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.