Warner Bros. begats remake of Burns pic
In Jerry Weintraub’s view, God is a not only a woman, but a talkshow host.
Weintraub and Warner Bros. have set Ellen DeGeneres to star in a remake of the 1977 comedy “Oh, God!” DeGeneres will play the title character, a role originally performed by George Burns.
Weintraub produced the original “Oh, God!,” which also starred John Denver and spawned two sequels. Weintraub said he could never figure out how to remake a film in a way that would flatter the original. He was recently approached by DeGeneres, however, and was impressed by her take. Then he got the blessing of the original’s director, Carl Reiner, and writer Larry Gelbart.
“Ellen is a strong comedienne and she has always done material about God and questions about God,” said Weintraub. “She will help us with the writing, and using her will allow us to do a proper 2005 view of ‘Oh God!’ that is hip and modern.”
Weintraub will look to hire a writer and director so they can shoot the film during DeGeneres’ talkshow hiatus next summer. Pic will be shepherded by WB exec Jessica Goodman. Susan Ekins and Mark Vahardian will exec produce. The producer just oversaw “Ocean’s Twelve,” the Steven Soderbergh-directed sequel that stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
“Oh, God!” marks another shot at the bigscreen for DeGeneres, who fizzled the first time around when she starred in the romantic comedy “Mr. Wrong.” She fared much better when she performed the voice of Dory in the CGI-animated “Finding Nemo” and has career momentum again thanks to her daytime talker.