Fans of Billy Crystal and his comedy classic City Slickers have some news to be cheerful about. According to Deadline, Writers Lowell Gantz and Babaloo Mandel, who worked with Crystal on Slickers as well as Forget Paris and Father’s Day, with the actor again for upcoming film Us & Them. The film will be Crystal’s first lead role in nearly ten years, and is slated to be directed by Andy Fickman, of this Fall’s upcoming You Again. Crystal is also producing the film, which had been in development at Paramount for several years before being dropped. Fox picked it up in turnaround, and it is currently on fast-track as a co-production with Walden Media.
Crystal plays a grandfather charged with caring for his grandchildren for a week, who is confronted by the generational shift in parenting and the need to reconcile with his daughter. The plot seems like fertile ground for the kind of warm comedy Crystal does best, though Fickman’s family-friendly reputation seems likely to dull any edge it might have. As a huge fan of City Slickers, I’m hoping that Us & Them will have at least some of that film’s magic.