Jer Lee and the Boys

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Goodness, gracious, “Great Balls of Fire” is gonna have some mighty familiar names--aside from central character Jerry Lee Lewis.

Like, Elvis Presley--circa ’56. (A source tells us El is at first put off by the brash Jerry Lee but later comes to admire him.) And Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, also circa ’56. Jerry Lee--to be played by sexy Dennis Quaid--will do some jammin’ with them at the legendary Sun Studios.

And . . . Jimmy Lee Swaggart. The Jimmy Swaggart--who happens to be Jerry Lee’s first cousin and boyhood pal. Swaggart will be depicted at age 30 as a blond, blue-eyed, “threadbare and itinerate preacher.” This according to a casting rep, who said that scenes will show Swaggart revving up his hellfire-and-brimstone style.


In fact, the script--co-written by Jack Baran (who’s also associate producer) and director Jim McBride--will find Swaggart warning Jerry Lee that all that rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’ is, so to speak, of the devil.

For Orion Pics, the bio--budgeted at a reported $16 million to $18 million--will begin shooting in October. Locales will include Memphis and London. The latter’s where Lewis got in a jam--when the British press lit into him after it was discovered that he’d married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Brown.