Jonathan Lynn has stepped down as helmer of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” at Fox, the studio confirmed late Tuesday. The pic’s star, Sean Connery, reportedly has requested “The Firm” helmer Sydney Pollack to develop — and possibly even direct — the film.
Although Fox confirmed Lynn’s departure, officials denied that Pollack has been contacted. “Due to creative differences, Jonathan Lynn has withdrawn from the project,” Fox said in a prepared statement. “It is amicable and he is in business with Fox on other projects. There is no deal with Sydney Pollack, nor is the studio in negotiations with Sydney Pollack.”
Still, sources considered it likely that once the legal niceties concerning “My Cousin Vinny” helmer Lynn’s exit are in place, Pollack will eventually join the “Mrs. Muir” project.
Connery, who is slotted to play the salty sea specter in the film, reportedly requested Pollack earlier this week.
If Pollack does get into the director’s chair, it will be the second time within a year that the heavyweight helmer takes over for someone else: When Tom Cruise decided he would rather work with Pollack on “The Firm,” director John Badham exited at the last minute.
If Pollack takes over as director, sources expect the “Mrs. Muir” production to be made under the auspices of Pollack’s Universal-based production outfit Mirage Enterprises, in conjunction with current producer Paul Schiff.
Schiff was unavailable for comment, as were Pollack and his reps at Creative Artists Agency, which also handles Connery. Jonathan Lynn’s International Creative Management rep could not be reached for comment.
Among other upcoming Fox pictures under Schiff’s shingle is the Hart Bochner-helmed college comedy “P.C.U.,” written by Zak Penn and Adam Leff, who wrote the original “Last Action Hero” script. Schiff also co-produced both “Young Guns” movies for Morgan Creek under the Joe Roth regime.
Though “Ghost and Mrs. Muir” is now looking to get a heavier A-list player at the helm, sources expected Pollack to keep present key production components in place — including Schiff and screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer, who wrote “Mrs. Doubtfire.”