It’s been about seven years since screen acting legend Jack Nicholson lent his talents to a film, but the actor has finally found a project to lure him out of his semi-retirement: a remake of the hit German comedy Toni Erdmann. The film centers on an eccentric father (played by Peter Simonischek in the original), who surprises his workaholic daughter (Sandra Hüller) with an extended visit and assumes the persona of his titular alter ego, a costumed smooth-talking life coach with a goofy wig and fake teeth.
Directed by Maren Ade (Everyone Else), the nearly three-hour comedy is nominated for best foreign film at the Oscar and best non-English language film at the BAFTAS. Variety reports that Ade will exec produce the remake along with producers Jonas Dornbach and Janine Jackowski. Adam McKay (The Big Short) will produce for Paramount Pictures along with Will Ferrell and Jessica Elbuam of Gloria Sanchez Productions.
Nicholson’s last film appearance was a supporting role in James L. Brooks‘ comedy How Do You Know, and his last leading role was in the 2007 comedy The Bucket List. Per the report, the three-time Oscar winner enjoyed Toni Erdmann so much, he approached Paramount’s Brad Grey with the idea for a remake and Grey immediately went to work snatching up the rights.
UPDATE: Variety reports that Kristen Wiig will star opposite Nicholson in the role of the daughter originated by Huller.
Here’s the official synopsis for Toni Erdmann:
Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. The suddenly student-less music teacher decides to surprise her with a visit after the death of his old dog. It’s an awkward move because serious career woman Ines is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. The geographical change doesn’t help the two to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried loves to annoy his daughter with corny pranks. What’s worse are his little jabs at her routine lifestyle of long meetings, hotel bars and performance reports. Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to return home to Germany.
Enter flashy Toni Erdmann: Winfried’s smooth-talking alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and even weirder fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ professional life, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As Toni, Winfried is bolder and doesn’t hold back, but Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push, the closer they become. In all the madness, Ines begins to understand that her eccentric father might deserve some place in her life after all..