Studio taps 'Legally Blonde' duo to redo 1982 film

Universal Pictures is bringing “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” back to the bigscreen.

Studio has tapped “Legally Blonde” duo Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith to adapt a modern take on the 1982 film.

Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, whose recent credits include the “Twilight” franchise and “Dear John,” are producing through their Temple Hill banner.

U is planning a complete overhaul of the original, which starred Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton as a town sheriff and madame who team up to stop a crusading TV personality from shutting down the local whorehouse, the famed Chicken Ranch, which was featured in a Playboy magazine profile. The original film, which was based on the 1978 Broadway play of the same name, featured many of the same songs as the stage version as well as two songs penned by Parton — the duet “Sneakin’ Around” and “I Will Always Love You.”

U’s revamp also will include musical numbers, though the studio is tight-lipped about whether the new version will incorporate the previous film’s songs.

Roy Houlette will exec produce.

The book for the Broadway play was penned by Larry L. King, who wrote the Playboy profile, and Peter Masterson. Carol Hall wrote the music and lyrics.

Lutz and Smith have had their hand in a number of female-driven box office hits including the Katherine Heigl starrer “The Ugly Truth,” “The House Bunny,” “She’s the Man,” “Ella Enchanted” and “10 Things I Hate About You.” They also penned the Heigl vehicle “One for the Money,” which is being fast-tracked by Sony/Lakeshore.

The duo are repped by Paradigm, Jaret Entertainment and attorney Warren Dern.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more