Midnight Run is about to get Ratner-fied. Development on a sequel to the 1988 buddy action-comedy began in early 2010 when word came that Universal was working on a follow-up with star Robert De Niro attached to reprise his bounty hunter role from the original. Now comes word that Mr. Brett Ratner is in talks to direct the sequel and screenwriters David Elliot and Paul Lovett (G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra) have been tapped to perform a rewrite. For those unfamiliar, the first film starred De Niro as a bounty hunter tasked with escorting an embezzler (Charles Grodin) across the country. Hit the jump for more on Midnight Run 2.
News of Ratner’s involvement with Midnight Run 2 comes courtesy of Deadline. As the man behind the Rush Hour franchise, Ratner certainly has experience with buddy comedies (albeit not good ones). He recently helmed the below-average comedy Tower Heist, and I’m not exactly hopeful that he’ll turn out a fun and exciting Midnight Run sequel. The involvement of Elliot and Lovett doesn’t raise my enthusiasm either; in addition to G.I. Joe they also wrote Four Brothers. The previous draft of the sequel was written by Timothy Dowling (Role Models, Knight and Day), and last we heard the story would involve teaming De Niro up with a “younger comedic foil.” That “old, curmudgeon cop/young, hip cop” dynamic is probably comedic gold to Ratner, but depending on whom they cast opposite De Niro we could be in for an incredibly boring ride.
I’m sincerely hoping for the best here, and I’d be more than happy to be pleasantly surprised, but I’m not necessarily holding my breath. We recently heard that Ratner may be directing a film chronicling the rise of MTV, and I’m genuinely enthused by that marriage of director and material. I Want My MTV is ways off from production, however, and Ratner is next set to direct Dwayne Johnson in Hercules later this year.