As we reported earlier this year, Sony Pictures is looking to remake their 1995 hit film, Jumanji. For those unfamiliar with the original Robin Williams flick, the story (based on a 1981 illustrated children’s book) focuses on two adults and a pair of siblings who must play through the eponymous magical board game, which keeps creating horrific jungle conditions in the real-world every time someone makes a new move or tries to cheat. According to Heat Vision, Sony has hired Stranger Than Fiction writer Zach Helm to pen the remake.
There are no details on how the remake will differ from the original, but Helm is a smart choice for the magical realism of Jumanji. In addition to Stranger Than Fiction, he also wrote and directed Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and did a rewrite on the upcoming remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring Ben Stiller. Hit the jump to check out the trailer for Jumanji.
Screenwriter Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction) is set to adapt Patricia Highsmith‘s novel Deep Water. Per THR, “The story centers on an upscale suburban husband who, in order to avoid a divorce, allows his wife to have affairs. When the paramours start disappearing, the quiet marriage and community that surrounds it begin to heat up.” Fox 2000 wants to make the film as a “dark, sexy comedy.” The project does not currently have a director.
Highsmith’s work is no stranger to Hollywood with her novels Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley both being adapted into critically acclaimed films. Helm has his work cut out for him if he’s trying to make his adaptation measure up to those movies (on the bright side, Deep Water will probably be better than Ripley’s Game). Helm is also writing Errol Morris‘ Freezing People Is Easy starring Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, and Christopher Walken. Hit the jump for the synopsis of Highsmith’s Deep Water.
Paul Rudd is set to star in a new feature film from noted documentarian Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line). The non-documentary feature is based on a story from “This American Life” about Bob Nelson, a California TV-repairman who decided that his obsession with cryogenically freezing humans in order to resurrect them later in the future needed to become a reality. The material seems pretty spot-on for Rudd’s comedic sensibilities.
The Washington Post confirms Rudd’s casting, and Stranger Than Fiction screenwriter Zach Helm will pen the screenplay. Morris is apparently collaborating with “This American Life” host Ira Glass on the project. The director previously helmed the 1991 non-documentary film The Dark Wind, and most recently released his documentary Tabloid. His 2004 doc The Fog of War (which is a must-see) won the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.
George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s production company Smoke House Pictures is developing a film about the Wall Street bailout, based on the 2009 Washington Post article “The $700 Billion Man.” Said man is Neel Kashkari, the steward of $700 billion set aside for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2008 to bail out failing banks following economic collapse. The experience wrecked Kashkari. He resigned after 7 months in Washington, D.C. and moved to a remote cabin in Northern California.
According to Variety, Clooney is considering The $700 Billion Man as a possible directing vehicle. Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction) will write the script. Read more about the story after the jump.
Everyone is off to see the Wizard these days. Drew Barrymore is the latest to throw on a pair of ruby slippers as Pajiba reports that she’ll make Surrender Dorothy as the follow-up to her directorial debut, Whip It. First announced in 2002, Barrymore was then attached to star in the Wizard of Oz-inspired flick that Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction) wrote. The actress/producer/director was originally going to play “the great, great granddaughter of Dorothy who has to learn how to use the power of those ruby red slippers to keep the Wicked Witch of the West from taking control of the kingdoms of Earth and Oz.” But now that Barrymore is eight years older, I wonder if she’s going to take another role or just stick to directing/producing the film.
I liked Whip It although I think Barrymore should have given the film a harder edge. Hit the jump to learn about the other Wizard of Oz-based movies currently in development.