Director Tom McGrath (Megamind) may make his live-action debut directing denizens of the afterlife in Rentaghost, starring Ben Stiller. The picture, inspired by a British children’s TV series, follows “an American turnaround consultant who is sent to the UK to reinvigorate a failing company,” and finds jobs for ghosts and ghouls. Having co-directed all three of the wildly successful Madagascar movies, McGrath would reunite with Stiller, who voiced Alex the Lion in the animated films.
Before Fox picked the picture up from Warner Bros., it had starred Russell Brand in the lead role. With Stiller attached and Night at the Museum scribes, Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant writing, McGrath’s addition could further seal up box-office gold as families will likely head to the theaters in droves when the movie opens next year. McGrath’s entry into negotiations comes via Variety.
Last December, Russell Brand signed on to Rentaghost based on the British children’s TV series that ran from 1976 to 1984. The show centered around a company that rents out ghosts to perform various tasks, and Brand was set to play “Fred Mumford, a recently deceased loser who feels he can find work for ghosts whose lives were as failed as his.” However, Deadline now reports that Brand has dropped out of the film and has been replaced by Ben Stiller who will partner with his Night at the Museum writers Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant.
The plot will now have Stiller playing “an American turnaround consultant who is sent to the UK to reinvigorate a failing company.” Fox sees it as another strong family franchise and I see it as another film where Stiller will be the straight man to a cast of zany ghosts who help him to learn a valuable lesson. Hit the jump for a recap of other films Stiller has in the pipeline.
Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the British children’s television comedy Rentaghost. Variety reports the studio is developing Rentaghost as a vehicle for Russell Brand, with “a similar tone to Beetlejuice and Gremlins.” The original series, which ran from 1976-1984, centers on a company which rents ghosts out for various tasks. Brand is meant to play Fred Mumford, “a recently deceased loser who feels he can find work for ghosts whose lives were as failed as his.” Brand will produce along with Kevin McCormick (Hard Ball), Gail Berman (Angel), and Lloyd Braun (Accidentally on Purpose).
Hit the jump for a fuller synopsis of the TV series and a recap of the projects Brand is attached to.